July is the time to Start planting seeds of various cole crops that are normally set out as transplants in late Aug early Sept. I start seeds of cool season crops like cabbage, brocolli, kale and collards in Mid July directly in the ground in well prepared seed beds . An area that has morning sun and afternoon shade is ideal. I add compost, bonemeal and blood meal to the ground and till under.I take the seed and mix with dry sand then use a jar with holes punched in the lid with a nail and shake the seed in a row 3in wide.then cover with a 1/4in of soil. To help with germination in the heat of July I cover the bed with remay fabric cloth. This provides some shade from the afternoon sun and helps keep the bed moist till the seeds germinate. The beds are soaked daily and the seed will all be up within a week. Once the seed is up I remove the cloth but still water daily. In about 3 weeks the plants are fertilized with a high Nitrogen liqud fertilizer and are ready to transplant to the garden when 6weeks old. At six weeks the bed is soaked with water and the plants lifted out of the ground with a trowel. Plants are seperated and placed in a cup with water. The plants are set out in the garden by digging a hole placing the plant in the hole fill the hole with water then cover with dirt. I fertilze monthly with liquid fish emulsion and by first of Nov. the winter harvest begins and last till hard feezes of Jan finish off the plants ( if not eaten before then)
White Mountain Collards
This is an old variety of collards grown in the Dutch Fork area of South Carolina since the early 1900s. My seed stock came from Mrs Camelia Long of Pomaria SC. These plants will grow to 3ft across and produce a large fairly tight head. My great Aunt Isabel Winn of Ward SC would make collard Kraut from these heads.