Swiss chard is one of the easiest and most satisfactory plants you can grow in a home garden.Swiss chard is quite frost-tolerant.Be sure to keep the plants well-watered.Like beets, Swiss chard "seeds" are actually a package of several small seeds clumped together.After your first harvest, sow a few Swiss chard seeds in other areas of the garden to be sure you always have a good supply of tender young leaves. .

My Swiss Chard is Secretly Taking Steroids

For the last month, one of my Swiss Chard plants looked like it was on steroids.I think the Sorrel next to the plant is secretly supplying steroids to the Swiss Chard.So, what gives with this Swiss Chard and why is it different than all of its sister chards?What is the stalk coming out of the middle?If I don’t cut off the stalk, will I have baby Swiss Chard next year?So dear readers , can you help out a gardener? .

Eating Whole Food: When Chard Bolts

Instead, fine wiry stems were leaping ahead of the rest of the plant, forming little clusters that would eventually be seeds.But then they send up a spray of daisy-like flowers, which turn produce seeds that fall and make an early crop spring salad.Faced with a bed of bolting chard and no replacement plants, I snipped off an armful of thin, long stems.True, it didn’t look much like the chard you buy at the store—no big fleshy leaves, here—but why assume what filled my arms wouldn’t be tender and tasty?I broke off the long thin stalks, those only ¼ inch wide, for they felt tender when I pinched them.They could have gone in a pita sandwich with tarator sauce, or into a frittata with a sprig of basil and stewed sweet onions, or in a pasta dish, with chickpeas—in short, wherever chard is normally used. .

Growing Swiss Chard, the Most Versatile of Greens

Chard isn’t fussy about light - it tolerates the dappled afternoon shade under the edge of the apple tree.It doesn’t bolt when the weather gets hot, stands up under a bit of frost (when large), is stunningly beautiful, is relatively disease-free, and is one of the best-tasting and versatile greens there is.Swiss chard is a biennial, meaning that under normal conditions, it will grow the entire first season without going to seed.It’ll die back to the roots when it freezes in the fall, but as long as it doesn’t get below 15 degrees F, it will come back from the roots the second year, when it sends up a flower stalk, makes seeds and then dies.But here's a tidbit I learned the hard way about growing Swiss chard: if you start it from seed indoors, make sure you wait until all danger of frost has passed before planting it out.Swiss Chard When they all come up, snip of the smaller one(s), so that the biggest one won't have competition.The second way to harvest chard is to cut the entire plant off a few inches above the base. .

Grow Swiss Chard

Swiss chard and beets are the same species, and they require a period of overwintering in order to set seeds.When growing for seed, increase spacing to 19 inches between plants in rows 36 inches apart, or to 24 inches on center.Swiss chard can be continually harvested throughout the season.Harvest the outer leaves at the base of the stalk, leaving four to five inner leaves to continue growing.Swiss chard can also be harvested in closer plantings as baby greens, cutting the leaves about 3 inches above the soil and returning every week or so.Allow plants to re-grow to 5-6 inches before harvesting again.How to Save Swiss Chard Seeds.A benefit to growing Swiss chard for seed is that you can lightly harvest the plants in their first season for food, and then let them overwinter and harvest the seeds the next year.Depending on the percentage of ripe seeds at harvest, 7 to 14 days should be a sufficient drying period.Threshed seedstalks should be discarded, and the seed lot should then be screened and winnowed. .

How to Plant and Grow Swiss Chard

vulgaris, (Cicla and Flavescens Groups) Swiss chard, B. vulgaris, is a type of beet.Read on for all you need to know to grow it in your garden!Successful cultivation requires a location that gets full sun to part shade, with soil that is organically rich and well-draining.In addition to growing it for consumption, B. vulgaris is often cultivated as an ornamental.And whether you grow it to eat or just to look at, this cut-and-come-again vegetable should have its leaves snipped frequently to encourage further leaf formation throughout the growing season.B.

vulgaris grows from irregularly-shaped seed clusters that contain several seeds in each.How to Grow.Choose a smaller-stature variety, and trim leaves as soon as they reach six inches, to encourage more leaf than root growth.For garden plants, you may cut leaves at heights from six inches to two feet, depending upon plant size.In addition, leaving mature leaves unharvested may result in more root growth and fewer new leaves.Place one seedling every 12 inches, leaving about 18 inches between rows.Water and maintain even moisture, never allowing the soil to completely dry out during the plants’ acclimation to their new location.Some folks like to grow “baby greens,” meaning they like to harvest them at a height of at least six inches tall.Once established, plants need an inch or so of water throughout the growing season.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.Read more about companion plants for chard here.Space according to planned use as “baby greens” or full-size leaves.The standard cultivar has a smaller stature, with stalks from 8 to 10 inches tall, making it a perfect container gardening choice.A larger version of ‘Fordhook,’ this cultivar tops out at 24 inches.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.It reaches a height of up to 24 inches, and often winters over, for an early spring crop.Billed as “bolt-resistant,” this beauty has bright orange stems and dark green leaves.Stalks are 8 to 10 inches tall, making it suitable for a small container garden.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.Chard is not prone to insects or disease.With nutrient-rich soil, good drainage, adequate aeration between vegetables, and a minimum of weeds, you’re well on your way to success.It’s also wise to rotate crops and not co-plant with spinach or beets, to inhibit insects specific to this botanical group, such as the beet leafhopper, that winter over in the soil and live their lives on these plants, as well as chard.They attract leafminers and their seedlings closely resemble those of chard, so weed well and with caution!Curly top disease, that affects leaves and roots and is spread by the beet leafhopper.Remove any leaves that are damaged by animals, insects, or disease, and discard them.This vegetable is a cut-and-come-again species that provides multiple harvests during the growing season.Harvesting stalks when they are young and tender, at about six inches tall, is an excellent way to get the maximum number of harvests per year.When harvesting both young and older leaves, always take the outer leaves first, leaving the younger, inner ones to continue to grow.Make clean cuts across each stem about an inch above the base of the plant.Get more information on harvesting Swiss chard here.You may enjoy the leaves and stems cooked or uncooked, together or separately.When preparing it, consider cutting up the leaves and stalks separately.This way, you may remove cooked leaves and allow the somewhat tougher stems to continue on until tender.Young leaves are excellent when lightly wilted in sautés.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.Find the recipe on our sister site, Foodal.With your abundant harvest, you’ll find this dish is your new go-to-choice for impromptu get-togethers.If you use the leaves for a recipe and have stems leftover, consider them a vegetable in their own right, and prepare them separately. .

How to Grow Swiss Chard from seed – West Coast Seeds

They grow easily and well in our climate and stand in the garden for many months, giving a long harvest from one planting.Direct sow any time from early spring to mid-summer.Days to Maturity: From direct sowing.Swiss chard prefers loose, deep, and fertile soil that is rich in organic matter.For salad mix, seed more densely and cut as baby leaves.Seed Info.Per 100′ row: 220 seeds, per acre: 64M seeds. .

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