Chard – Swiss Chard
Swiss Chard is also known as Silver Beet or Seakale Beet. It is a very popular vegetable in Italy. In addition, the white leaf stem is used as the vegetable here. The whole leaf, however, can be used. Delicious if lightly steamed as well as stir-fried.
Make two successional sowings, the first one in April and the second one in June. Therefore, it can either be sown directly into the garden or first raised in modular trays. In fact, the seeds are actually clusters of seeds and as soon as the seedlings appear they should be thinned to leave just one seedling per station.
If sown indoors sow one seed per module about 2cm deep and about 4 to 5 weeks later plant out.
Between rows: 45cm
Between plants in the row: 30cm
Approx. seed count: 60
Growing Chard – Swiss Chard
Beta vulgaris subsp. cicla
Chenopodiaceae (Goosefoot Family)
Chard – Swiss Chard is also known as silver chard, silver beet and seakale beet. There are other types: Ruby Chard with red stems and re-veined leaves, Rainbow Chard with multi-coloured stems and leaves and also recently introduced a Yellow Chard with yellow stems and veins. In fact, they are all very decorative as well as tasty crops.
All chards are excellent crops for winter cropping in a tunnel or greenhouse.
Soil and site
Chard will do well in any fertile soil provided that plenty of compost or composted manure has been applied. The ideal soil pH is 6.5 – 7.5.
Sowing and planting
Seeds of Chard – Swiss Chard can be sown into modular trays (one seed per cell) and placed onto a heating bench at 18ºC. As with perpetual spinach and beetroot you will notice that from the one seed about three to five seedlings appear. Therefore, you have to thin them out as soon as they appear leaving just one seedling per module.
Sow seeds from April to June outdoors.
Two strategic sowing dates in late August and in early January are sufficient to get a continuous supply of chard throughout autumn, winter and spring in the polytunnel.
Between plants: 35cm
Between rows: 35cm
Always keep the crop weed free and also well-watered. It is also beneficial to remove the lower leaves because they turn brown if not harvested on time.
Just like perpetual spinach, harvest the leaves on a regular basis by twisting them away from the base of the plant
How much to grow?
Three plants of Chard – Swiss Chard for each sowing will provide you with a lot of chard. Furthermore, this will take up less than one square metre from each sowing.
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