Chard, also known as Swiss chard, is a glowing star of the fall garden. If you have a peek at the leaves of its cousin, the beet, you can see a family resemblance. But unlike beets, chard does not wait for you to notice it at the backyard. It easily reaches 2 feet or taller in height, with leaves in shades of green and red and stems that range in colour from white to yellow and orange to pink, red and purple.
Chard enjoys cold weather, so it is good to plant in late summer and early fall, in addition to in spring. And unlike many cool-season crops, it also does well in summertime.
More: The way to grow cool-season veggies
When to plant it Sow seeds in late summer and early fall for a fall crop; for summer and spring crops, sow seeds or set out seedlings in late winter (in moderate climates) or early spring.
Days to maturity: You can begin harvesting in approximately 60 days.
Light demand: Full sun or partial shade where the weather is extremely hot
Water requirement: Keep the soil moist until seeds sprout, then provide regular, consistent watering.
Favorites: Bright Lights and Rainbow are best known. Others include Barese, Fordhook Giant, French Swiss, Golden Sunrise, Joseph’s Coat, Lucillus, Perpetual, rhubarb and Ruby Red.
Planting and care: Plant chard from well-amended, well-drained soil that has been worked intensely. Mild-climate gardeners may also sow seeds in late summer or fall for winter development.
Start indoors or directly in the backyard. Sow seeds about half an inch deep and 2 inches apart, then thin the growth to about a foot apart; place seedlings at precisely the exact same spacing. Eat the thinnings as you want other greens. Add fertilizer once you plant and replicate roughly a month and a half afterwards.
Keep the soil evenly moist and remove weeds around the plant. Pests are infrequent, but they also include aphids, leaf miners, snails and slugs in addition to some other annoyances, including rabbits and the occasional household pet.
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Harvest: Following two months, start cutting stalks from the outside. If you need more leaves, cut the whole plant about 2 inches above the floor, and it’ll regrow.
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