You can't go wrong with the perennial Merritt collard! This awesome specimen of a perennial green was originally propagated by the great folks at Project Tree Collard from a perennial brassica growing at Merritt College in Oakland. We love this plant!
Why We Love It
Here are some of the reasons why we love the Merritt Tree Collard...
1) GIANT LEAVES - The Merritt collard has giant, green leaves that continue to crank out all year. They are wonderful chopped up into a stir fry or lightly steamed and used as a wrap.
2) PROLIFIC- This perennial collard has a wonderful branching habit that will give you many heads of these amazing collards, all from a central trunk.
3) GREAT TASTE - The Merritt collard has a nice light taste and even the largest leaves are tasty. We use them in stir fries, soups, and even in our green juice.
How to Grow It
Here's how to grow Merritt Tree Collards:
|MOISTURE||LIKES GARDEN MOISTURE|
|GROWING ZONES||PERENNIAL IN USDA ZONES 7-10, ANNUAL ELSEWHERE (Not sure? Find your growing zone here)|
|SIZE||3-6 FEET TALL & 3 FEET WIDE|
FROM CUTTINGS: Upon arrival place cuttings half-deep into good quality potting soil. Keep moist, but not over saturated, give good light and warmth. Cuttings will root in 3-8 weeks. Alternatively plant cutting into good quality soil outside in spring or early fall in mild climates and keep moist.
FROM SEEDS: Start indoor in plug trays 4-6 weeks before last frost date. Seed ¼’’ deep and keep moist. Germ in 7-14 days. Ensure steady moisture and a good light source to reduce stretching, which creates week stalks. Plant out or pot up once seedling has a strong root structure.PRO TIP: The key for this wonderful, branching perennial green is to harvest often! It will allow for optimal air flow, which will keep your collards happy and healthy. If you live in a cooler growing zone, take a branch cutting in the late Fall and pop into a pot and bring indoors for the winter. You can plant out again in the Spring.
Here are some pruning tips below:
How to Harvest & Use It
Harvest the outer, largest leaves. We suggest harvesting 1/3 or less of the leaves at a time so the plant can continue to gather sun and photosynthesize. Your Merritt Collard will pop up a flower stalk in the spring. The immature flower buds can be harvested and eaten just like broccoli (it's the same family). While it's flowering, you'll notice that it doesn't make as many leaves. After the plant is finished flowering, cut off the flower stalks and it will increase its leaf production again and give you leaves all summer, fall, and winter.