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Collards

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Around the first time of the year our thoughts turn to green, they should turn to greens anyways. Whether its in the flowerbed under the tree, under a tree such as a Live oak, where you don't get much sun in there, you have to use ornamental cabbage and kale. We talked about that several weeks ago. Or, if you're out in the garden where everything is frozen you have to use something that's cold hearty such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, some of those types of things, collards, that you have out in your garden area.

Both of these are greens crops. One of them is used as an ornamental; one of them is used as an edible. They're both edible and all parts of them are edible. But the think about it is you have to keep them actively growing because, of course, with the ornamental part of it, the bigger they get the prettier they get in the center. With the edible part of it the faster they grow in this cool temperature we're having the sweeter they are.

And the way you want to keep them growing is add a lot of nitrogen. You will have to use Ammonium Sulfate, you don't have to use the expensive fertilizer with all three of the numbers, use Ammonium Sulfate 21-0-0. Add one pound every two weeks per 100 square feet and you'll keep these ornamentals growing where they'll be bigger and prettier and you'll keep the edible stuff growing so it'll be bigger and sweeter.

This is Jerry Parsons, Vegetable Specialist for the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, the Weekend Gardener.

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