Collards can be grown almost year round in Florida, and should be on your list to plant since it is high in minerals and vitamins. In fact collards receive a completeness score from nutrition data of 90! They contain 308% DV in vitamin A and a whopping 1045% DV for vitamin K. They pack a great health punch. Growing collards in your garden is something that you can easily do as it tolerates cold weather better than any other vegetable in the cabbage family even though it grows better in warm weather. The popularity of collards was mainly in the Deep South but has now spread to the northern area. This vegetable is usually used as a substitute of cabbage. There are hybrid varieties of collard that have been introduced to bring collard uniformity and vigor. The recommended varieties include champion, flash, Vates, and Georgia. The last is the variety I used, with great success.
As I mentioned earlier you can grow them in your fall or spring garden. Early spring, March, which should be able to last through the summer as the leaves grow back really fast once mature. By August they will probably be done and you will at this point need to stay on them. The summer heat and sun will start to really take their toll. So planting more seeds in September or October would work really well. When growing the plant, you will need to sow your seeds ¼ to ½ inch deep and 6 inches apart. When they grow to the point of touching each other, you then harvest the whole plant so that the space left between them is 18 inches. A margin of 3 feet between rows is advisable since they can grow over three feet tall, and has a pretty good sized umbrella. The space will now be sufficient for the plant to mature and the thinned plants can be used as food.For an abundant harvest, maintaining sufficient soil moisture during summer is necessary and you need to control insects and disease causing pests. A method of harvesting that allows the younger leaves to develop continually for future use exists. You can harvest only the large leaves when the plant has reached a height of 10 to 12 inches to achieve the former. During the process of creating a wider space when the plants are between 6 to 10 inches tall, cutting the plant at ground level is necessary. The most common problems you might experience when growing collards are aphids and cabbageworms. I didn’t have any issues till the deep summer with mine, so again really need to look after them during the July-August months when ever bug in creation is out in full force.
I wrote an articles on Florida native plants you might be interested in.