For Thanksgiving I harvested the last of the collard greens.
My “planter” was constructed from regular typing paper that was folded, wrapped around a can of spray food color, removed from the can and then I tucked the ends under to form a base. I ran a band of packing tape around the middle for added stability.
It’s my version of the homemade newspaper starter pots. The spray food can was a good size for me. The final pot is the width of a standard cell pack, but it had more depth for the roots.
I started the seeds in flats. Once they germinated and had a few true leaves, I transplanted them to the paper pots which I then put in a small box. I was able to line them up in the box in rows of 4×6, so I had 24 plants growing in a small amount of space.
The plants grew well in the paper pots. This picture is showing the root system just before I transplanted them into styrofoam cups.
The collards are in the back couple of rows. The row is also planted with lettuce, Bachelor’s Buttons in the front, cabbage in the middle, and a couple of marigolds with the two tomatoes in the back. For some reason, the tomato plants in this bed never grew well and I ended up pulling them out.
The Bachelor’s Buttons had outgrown their space, so I pulled them and Free Cycled them. Then I put in the trellis for the cukes that I made from some bamboo poles that I had received from Free Cycle.
The cabbage are gone now, and I started a few turnip seeds in the front squares.
I only picked the leaves from the collards a couple times during the summer, and they just didn’t taste as good as the leaves harvested after the frost hit them. On top of that, the collards occupied the same space from May until now, so there was no chance to do any succession planting.
So, what did I learn?
- In my humble opinion, collards taste best when they mature in cool to cold weather.
- If you want the plants to mature in cool weather, you should start your seeds closer to July or August..
- Older leaves need to be picked, otherwise they die off as the new leaves develop.
- I will calculate the planting time of the collards so that they’ll be the last thing growing in the garden to be harvested after the frost hits…no frost cover needed.
A while back I transplanted some carrots from a planter into the raised bed. Yes, you can transplant carrots and I’ve got proof. I’ll post the proof and pics soon.