It is often grown as a summer substitute for spinach because of its tolerance for warm temperatures.It also withstands cool temperatures and can be grown from early spring right up to frost.Swiss chard prefers rich, well-drained soil in full sun or light shade.Plants are rarely bothered by pests and diseases and grow easily. .
Growing Swiss Chard Plants
Plant Swiss chard in the spring, 2 to 4 weeks before the last frost date.Space Swiss chard 12 to 18 inches apart in nutrient-rich, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.8.Growing Swiss chard works best in rich, moist soil with a soil pH between 6.0 and 6.8.Plant about 12 to 18 inches apart in fertile soil, watering directly after planting.Water regularly, applying 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week if it doesn’t rain. .
How to Plant and Grow Swiss Chard
But instead of featuring a well-developed and flavorful root, its claim to fame is glossy puckered leaves veined with bright white, orange, magenta, red, or yellow, with firm stalks to match.Think spinach meets celery under neon lights, and you have a pretty good description of this colorful and nutritious vegetable.Successful cultivation requires a location that gets full sun to part shade, with soil that is organically rich and well-draining.Also, they note that chard is not “day-length sensitive,” a botanical phenomenon called “photoperiodism.” This is why it’s less prone to bolting, or prematurely setting seed, than other leafy greens like spinach and lettuce.With its glossy leaves and vivid, multi-colored stems, it makes an eye-catching focal point in beds, borders, and containers, especially in the autumn garden, as the last blossoms of summer fade.The word “Swiss” was added by the 19th century to help seed catalog shoppers differentiate chard from French spinach.You may find it listed for sale as “decorticated” or “pelletized,” meaning the rough edges have been made smooth, so it passes more easily through seeding tools.When selecting varieties to plant, consult seed packets for information on mature dimensions, to plan your beds or containers appropriately.Choose a smaller-stature variety, and trim leaves as soon as they reach six inches, to encourage more leaf than root growth.Prepare your garden soil to a depth of about 12 inches, working in any recommended amendments, and fertilizing if you so choose.Water and maintain even moisture, never allowing the soil to completely dry out during the plants’ acclimation to their new location.Good “companions” are those with similar sun, soil, and water needs that don’t attract pests and diseases that would have an adverse effect on your vegetable.Good choices for sharing space with B. vulgaris are members of the brassicas and cole crops, like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, radishes, and cabbage.Other excellent companions include chamomile, coreopsis, lettuce, mint, nasturtium, and sweet alyssum.In addition, having refreshing birdbaths and welcoming birdhouses attract feathered friends that also feed on insect pests.Avoid planting corn; cucurbits like cucumber, melon, and pumpkin; and potatoes nearby for the reasons stated above.The standard cultivar has a smaller stature, with stalks from 8 to 10 inches tall, making it a perfect container gardening choice.If you’re looking for a variety prized not only for its flavor, but its exceptional heat and cold tolerance, white-ribbed, light green-leaved ‘Lucullus’ may be the one.With its abundant bright red stems and dark green leaves, ‘Ruby’ makes a pretty ornamental as well as an edible in the summer through fall landscape.Even with the best intentions, during the growing season, you may have to deal with hungry critters, bugs, and infection, so here’s what to watch for and how to handle each.Animals such as deer, ground hogs, and rabbits may come a-nibbling, so consider planting in raised beds, and beneath floating row covers, to keep them at bay.If plants become targets due to poor soil, drainage, spacing, or weed control, you may encounter the following:.And second, they may make your vegetable their home, laying eggs, nourishing ravenous appetites, causing damage or death, and wintering over to do it all again next year.And if you see bugs and eggs on your plants, hand pick them, or dislodge them with a steady stream of water from your garden hose.While not prone to disease, conditions like over- or under-watering may make it susceptible, resulting in damaged plant tissue and growth deformity.It does tolerate humidity, but B. vulgaris that is planted too closely, or in soil that doesn’t drain well, or both, may succumb to:.The beet leafhopper loves sunny locations, so planting in partial shade my deter this virus-carrying pest.An organic fungicide may halt the spread of fungus, but roots that succumb to oversaturation don’t usually recover.If you keep some soil attached, you may store them in a cool, moist location for continued growth and harvests into the winter.Alternatively, cut individual stems, or shear off the entire plant at the soil level, for one final harvest of the season.Another way to optimize your crop output is to use floating row covers to retain warmth right into winter.However, if your plants winter over and return the following spring, you may have the pleasure of seeing tiny green flowers set seed at the end of the second growing season.When most of the pods look brown, remove entire stalks of them and lay them in open paper bags in a dry location.Separate them from the chaff and store them in jars, or zippered plastic bags, in a cool, dry location.Chard is an excellent source of copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, and potassium, and vitamins A, C, and K. The most colorful varieties offer anti-inflammatory betalains.And more mature leaves make a refreshing and colorful alternative to lettuce and celery, when cut up separately in salads.Plant Type: Annual or biennial vegetable Growth Rate: Fastest in cool weather Native To: Sicily, naturalized in Europe and the Americas Maintenance: Low Hardiness (USDA Zone): Annual 2-11, biennial 6-11 Soil Type: Rich, organic Season: Spring to hard frost Soil pH: 6.0-8.0 Exposure: Full sun to part shade Soil Drainage: Well-draining Time to Maturity: 50-60 days Companion Planting: Brassicas, celery, chamomile, coreopsis, lettuce, mint, nasturtium, radishes, sweet alyssum Spacing: 12 inches Avoid Planting With: Other subspecies of B.
vulgaris (beetroot, sugar beet), corn, curcurbits, most herbs, potatoes Planting Depth: 1/2 inch Family: Amaranthaceae Height: 8-24 inches Subfamily: Chenopodiaceae Spread: 9-18 inches Genus: Beta Water Needs: 1 inch per week Species: B. vulgaris Tolerance: Cold, heat with adequate watering, light frost Pests & Diseases: Aphids, beet leafhoppers, blister beetles, flea beetles, leafminers, slugs, tarnished plant bugs, curly leaf fungus, root rot.Try this Indian Daal with Seared Chicken Breasts for an aromatic dish fortified with the anti-inflammatory benefits of golden turmeric.If you’re looking for a quick prep brunch dish that’s a little out of the box, loaded with vegan nutrition, and packs a cayenne zing, serve your guests this tasty fritter that can be either a main entree, an appetizer, or a side.Take the vegan option and make it with coconut milk for an even richer, sweeter experience.The pairing of gently wilted greens and tender onions with crisp nuts and chewy raisins is a textural feast for the palate that always satisfies.They make an excellent substitution for asparagus, removing its earthy high note and replacing it with sweetness.To enjoy it at season’s end, simply dig up the entire plant, slice off the roots, rinse and prepare.
Chard, like other green leafy vegetables, has highly nutritious leaves, making it a popular component of healthy diets. Its taxonomic rank has changed many times, so it was treated as a subspecies, convariety, or variety of Beta vulgaris.Chard belongs to the chenopods, which are now mostly included in the family Amaranthaceae (sensu lato).The origin of the adjective "Swiss" is unclear, since this coastal plant is not native to Switzerland.Chard is used in traditional Swiss cuisine, however, namely in a dish called capuns from the canton of Grisons.Clusters of chard seeds are usually sown, in the Northern Hemisphere, between June and October, depending on the desired harvesting period.Chard can be harvested while the leaves are young and tender, or after maturity when they are larger and have slightly tougher stems.Harvesting is a continuous process, as most species of chard produce three or more crops.Chard has shiny, green, ribbed leaves, with petioles that range from white to yellow to red, depending on the cultivar.In the Northern Hemisphere, chard is typically ready to harvest as early as April and lasts through May.When daytime temperatures start regularly to attain 30 °C (86 °F), the harvest season is coming to an end.Fresh chard can be used raw in salads, stirfries, soups or omelets. Chard leaves and stalks are typically boiled or sautéed; the bitterness fades with cooking. Also having significant content in raw chard are vitamin E and the dietary minerals, magnesium, manganese, iron, and potassium. Raw chard has low content of carbohydrates, protein, fat, and dietary fiber. .
9 Healthy Facts About Swiss Chard
This leafy green was identified by a Swiss botanist and is a variety of Beta vulgaris.The plant has numerous monikers, including silverbeet, Roman kale, and strawberry spinach.The tall leafy vegetable is a part of the goosefoot family -- aptly named because the leaves resemble a goose’s foot.Prepare Swiss chard by rinsing the crisp leaves several times in warm water.One cup of chopped Swiss chard has just 35 calories and provides more than 300% of the daily value for vitamin K. But skip this veggie if you’re prone to kidney stones; it contains oxalates, which decrease the body’s absorption of calcium and can lead to kidney stones.
Swiss Chard: Nutrition, Benefits and How to Cook It
Although kale is often deemed the king of greens, Swiss chard is equally impressive in its wide array of nutritional benefits.Origin and Nutrition Swiss chard is a leafy green belonging to the Chenopodioideae family, which also includes beets and spinach ( 1 ).Consuming a diet high in the antioxidants found in Swiss chard may decrease your chances of developing certain chronic diseases.Summary Swiss chard is high in many antioxidants including beta-carotene and flavonoids, which may help prevent certain conditions like heart disease and lung cancer.Summary Swiss chard is high in fiber, an important nutrient that can help maintain weight, lower your risk of certain cancers and promote heart health.On the other hand, people who consume diets high in vitamin-K-rich foods have greater bone mineral density and lower rates of osteoporosis ( 20 ).Summary Swiss chard is an excellent source of vitamin K, a nutrient essential for proper blood clotting and skeletal health.Swiss chard is an excellent source of potassium, calcium and magnesium, minerals that help maintain healthy blood pressure ( 21 ).Many large studies indicate that people with a higher intake of green leafy vegetables like Swiss chard have a decreased risk of heart disease.One study in over 173,000 people linked every one-serving increment of leafy green vegetables per day to an 11% reduction in heart disease risk.Summary Swiss chard may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, which may prevent heart disease.Consuming more fiber-rich vegetables like Swiss chard can improve symptoms in those with diabetes and insulin resistance and reduce the chances of these diseases occurring in the first place ( 28 ).Plus, Swiss chard is high in antioxidants, such as alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), which has been shown to reduce insulin resistance and improve diabetes-related complications, including nerve damage ( 29 ).Summary Swiss chard is high in fiber and antioxidants, which may improve blood sugar control and lower your risk of diabetes.Filling up on high-fiber vegetables like Swiss chard can increase fullness after meals, reducing your risk of snacking and overeating.In a study in 120 overweight adults, those who received twice the amount of vegetables than the control group experienced greater weight loss and hunger satisfaction ( 31 ).A review of 17 studies in over 560,000 participants noted that those with the highest intake of vegetables were 17% less likely to be overweight or obese ( 32 ).Summary Swiss chard is a mild green that can be used in a number of dishes, including salads, pastas and sides. .
Fresh chard is highly perishable and difficult to ship to distant markets.Some cultivars, often marketed as “rainbow chard,” have colourful stalks, which can be red, orange, yellow, or pale green. .
Swiss Chard – Wisconsin Horticulture
Swiss chard grows well regardless of soil type, daylength or temperature.Thinning isn’t as important as with beets, though.Aphids and spinach leafminer occasionally infest chard but there are no serious disease problems.There many varieties of Swiss chard available.Petiole and midrib colors vary from white to yellow, orange, red or green, while leaves may be green, bronze or purple.‘Bright Lights’ is a 1998 All-American Selection improved for its stem colors.‘Bright Lights’ is a 1998 All-American Selection improved for its stem colors.‘Lucullus’ is an older variety that produces very broad and thick, white or pale green petioles.‘Rhubarb’ produces crumpled, dark green leaves with deep red veins.The petioles are bright crimson red and slightly flattened.This attractive 20- to 24-inch plant matures in 60 days and is also nice as an ornamental.The brightly colored petioles and wide, dark green leaves are quite attractive and are easily incorporated into the landscape as an annual ornamental foliage plant.You can start harvesting the leaves when they are about 3″ long (about 4 weeks after planting) and remove a few leaves at a time for a continuous harvest throughout the growing season.Or you can wait until the plant is more mature to cut all the leaves off as a bunch at about 3″ above the soil surface and let it grow back.Swiss chard is quite cold tolerant and will continue to grow in the garden through frosts until temperatures drop to the mid-20’s. .