Chard is a close relative of beets. It is often grown as a summer substitute for spinach because of its tolerance for warm temperatures.
It also withstands cool temperatures and can be grown from early spring right up to frost.
CAN I GROW SWISS CHARD?
Swiss chard prefers rich, well-drained soil in full sun or light shade. In the North, sow from early spring to midsummer for a fall crop; in the South sow in fall to spring. Sow the seeds 1/2 inch deep in rows spaced 18 inches apart. Thin seedlings to 12 inches apart when they are large enough to handle.
INSECTS & DISEASES
Plants are rarely bothered by pests and diseases and grow easily.
Use thinnings as salad greens. Harvest outer leaves as needed, when they are more than 6 inches long. Cut the leaves about 1 inch from the ground. Harvest continually to keep the plants productive.
Before the first hard freeze in fall, dig up the plants with the roots still attached, and with some soil covering the roots. If you store the plants where it is cool and moist you can keep harvesting from them during the winter.
RECIPES & STORAGE
Use as a green, either cooked or raw. Use the leafstalks with the leaves, or cook the stalks separately like asparagus.
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