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Swiss Chard, Bright Lights
All-America Selections winner. A rainbow of color in a seed packet.
This stunning chard seed mix has stems in gold, pink and crimson. A few plants will be white and pink striped, orange, scarlet, purple, green and white. All are delicious to eat, though they are at their best harvested young for salads. GARDEN HINTS: Easy to grow; eat it like spinach or beet greens. Pick from late spring until winter. Grows best in full sun and will tolerate light shade.
Sow in average soil in spring as early as ground can be worked. Sow about 6" apart and cover with 1/2" of fine soil. Firm lightly and keep evenly moist. Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days.
How to Grow
Thin to stand about 12" apart when seedlings are 1-2" tall. Mulch plants to retain moisture and suppress weeds. Give chard plants 1" of water each week, especially in hot weather. If a flower stalk appears, remove it to prolong the harvest. Given good soil and adequate moisture, chard is rarely bothered by insects or diseases.
Begin harvesting leaves when they reach 5-6" or are large enough to use. Break off the outer leaves at their base, taking care not to damage inner leaves. Plants that are harvested regularly will continue to produce new growth from the center of the plant. Both the leaves and stalks are edible raw, steamed, and saut¿ed but avoid the lower 2-3 inches of the stalk as it may be fibrous and tough.