“All you need to know about how to grow chard…
I did try cooked chard with potatoes once or twice in my childhood, but it wasn’t until I started gardening years and years later that I became a really big fan of this leafy green. This vegetable (also known as swiss chard, silverbeet, leaf beet, perpetual spinach, spinach beet, crab beet, seakale beet or mangold) won my heart because of the following things:
- It is super easy to grow. In my first growing season I produced and harvested more chard than me and my family needed, although I knew very little about gardening. I was surprised how easy and effortless it was!
- It has a very long harvesting season. Unlike other leafy greens which start bolting and lose their taste soon after it warms up outside, chard is heat tolerant. It continues to yield well even during the hottest parts of the summer. The only thing that stops it is the killing frost in late autumn or early winter.
- It tastes delicious. Young and tender chard leaves have a mild, earthy taste and make salads very appetizing, especially when mixed with other leafy greens, such as arugula, lettuce or spinach. Mature leaves are more bitter, so instead of using them in a salad, my wife loves to make smoothies out of them. The stems (stalks) are tasty as well. I simply grill them on olive oil with some garlic.
- It is highly nutritious. Chard deserves it’s place on every superfood list out there. It is rich in dietary fiber, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins and therefore has incredible antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxification powers.
- It looks beautiful as well. Chard comes in many different varieties and colors. It’s no wonder then many gardeners grow it because of it’s ornamental value as well. For instance, variety named “Ruby” develops bright red stems, whereas variety named “Bright Stars” develops stems in multiple colors such as gold, yellow, pink, purple and orange.
Now that you too have decided to grow chard, I can only congratulate you. It’s a tough, productive vegetable that works hard for you and doesn’t really want much in return. Let’s see at how you can go about growing it…