Learn how to grow Swiss Chard. There is a lot to admire about Swiss Chard. A statuesque plant that adds structure and beauty to any vegetable bed. I call it, a 2 for 1 plant, a mix between Spinach and Celery it is an excellent source of Vitamins and so versatile in the kitchen.
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What is Swiss Chard ?
Swiss Chard is a large leafy green Vegetable that comes in an array of colours, including Red, white, Yellow and Orange. Despite its Name, Swiss Chard is not actually from Switzerland but from Sicily, Italy. A Swiss botanist by the name of Karl Heinrich Emil Koch was responsible for determining its scientific name and ‘Swiss Chard’ stuck.
What does Swiss Chard taste like ?
Swiss Chards leaves are tender with a slightly bitter taste, however, when cooked they have a mildly sweet flavour similar to spinach. The celery like stems are usually discarded, but I like to eat mine, delicious dunked in humous.
How to Sow Swiss Chard
I sow my Swiss Chard seeds from Early March-July on a Sunny windowsill or in a warm greenhouse. Sow in modules, 1 inch deep. Plant out when all risk of frost has passed.
Seeds sown in Spring will produce a harvest in Summer, the July sowings will produce leaves the following Spring when growth resumes.
Direct Sowing Sow seeds thinly March-July, 1 inch deep and around 10cm apart in rows.
How to Grow Swiss Chard
- Chard prefers a full sun position but will tolerate partial shade.
- Make sure your Chard has enough space, plant out seedlings around 30cm between each, if you have sown direct, thin out the seedlings to 30cm apart to give them growing space.
- Water evenly and consistently, water more often during dry spells.
How to Harvest Swiss Chard
Swiss Chard Plants can provide pickings for months. I like to use the ‘cut and come again’ technique when harvesting Chard. With a sharp knife cut 1-2 inches above the ground avoiding the plants centre. Harvest the oldest, largest leaves first, allowing the younger leaves to continue growing. This method will keep the plant producing.
Recommended Swiss Chard Varieties
Swiss Chard Rhubarb Red Deep Crimson Stalks with large dark green leaves.
Swiss Chard ‘Bright lights’ Produces a Rainbow of stems with large leaves of Green or Bronze
Swiss Chard ‘Fordhook Giant’ a Monster Swiss Chard that grows up to 60 cm tall.
Swiss Chard ‘White Silver’ Thick white stems with glossy green Leaves
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