Urban_Garden
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Tips on growing Swiss Chard.

Hello again!
The other night I purchased a multiple of leafy veggie seeds (spinach, kale, lettuce, etc) and amongst them was Swiss chard.
I've never grown it and I've never seen it being grown so I am utterly clueless as to what I am to do with it. :?
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DoubleDogFarm
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urban_garden,

Basically the same techniques as your lettuce, spinach, Kale, and all leafy greens. If you have grown beets, you basically have grown chard.

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gixxerific
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Stick it in the ground and stand back. It grows rather well I love it last year was the first time for me and is was prolific with no fertilization though I would think a light hit of good nitrogen would help it row even better. I planted some seed and am waiting for it to pop.

But basically Swiss chard is of the beet family it is just harvested for the green and not the bulb. Hopefully you got the bright lights variety as it is very colorful as well. I grow it as lettuce some people use it in place of spinach. I always just chopped it up with outer lettuces and it was great.

It should do fine through the summer and all the way to first frost, it may even comeback in the spring if cut off at ground level.

I also remember hearing that is is barely bothered by disease of pest so bonus there, everyone should have some chard growing in there garden in mu opinion.

One more thing you harvest as a cut and come again just don't take more that 1/3 of the plant, that is the basic rule for plants of this nature. :lol:

good luck

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The only problem I've had with it and beet greens is leaf miner.

I'll be try floating row cover this year.

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rainbowgardener
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Agree with all the above. Just thought I'd say I love growing Swiss chard. My favorite thing, because it is so easy and it just keeps growing and growing. The spinach will be over and done by June and the Swiss chard keeps on trucking, even through the first few light frosts...

You can use it raw or cooked in any recipe that you would use spinach for. I made a Swiss chard lasagna last year, just using Swiss chard instead of the spinach and I liked it better than the spinach lasagna.
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Yup Swiss Chard is excellent. I usually steam it until tender, but not mushy. Then just put what you like on it or eat it plain. Butter or vinegar are popular options. Salt or pepper if you like.
When you harvest, just go down the line & snip the outer leaves off each plant, leaving the bulk of the plant behind & it will produce all year long. Enjoy!

TZ -OH6
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The Italian cooking lady on the PBS Create channel made a traditional pasta dish with Swiss chard. It was more or less what I do to eat it as a vegetable (steam and then saute with butter, garlic and onions) but she added some other stuff, probably cheese, olive oil etc. adn tossed it into some pasta so it is quite versatile. Makes sense since it has been grown since Roman times, long before beets were developed. I generally ignore mine until they get big (2 ft tall and wide), so beware of spacing if you are not going to keep up with them. They are beautiful plants in case you want to plant them as an ornamental in a flower bed and just eat a little off of them hear and there.

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Ozark Lady
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Swiss Chard grows very well for me, and beets don't. I never could figure that out since they are in the same family!

I have never tasted Swiss Chard as a raw vegetable. I fix it many different ways, normally involving steaming, or boiling, it works either way, I even use it in lasagna, and in place of greens in stir fries, or egg rolls. It is very versatile, flavorful, without knocking you down.

And the colors of the bright lights, is as beautiful as any flower can be.
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TZ -OH6 wrote: Swiss chard... has been grown since Roman times, long before beets were developed.
Both chard and beets are the same plant, Beta vulgaris. The seeds sold for beets ("beet root" in Britain) are from cultivars developed for the large roots; those sold for chard have the normal skinny roots.

So, if your beet greens look a lot like chard, there's a good reason...they are chard! :D

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jal_ut
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Chard is a great plant for greens.

[img]https://donce.lofthouse.com/jamaica/chard.jpg[/img]
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jal_ut

Nice looking chard. Ford Hook :?: I prefer Bright Lights and so do my customers. Bright Lights is like a beacon on the Farmers market table. I have about 75 - 4" pots waiting in the greenhouse. Maybe tomorrow.

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I cooked up a big ol root from a chard at the end of last season. It was edible, and would be considered pretty good if it were some wild plant wilderness food. It just wasn't that good compared to "domesticated" root vegetables.

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Thanks everyone! You've all been very helpful! :D
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OK, if beets are a chard, can you eat beet leaves in addition to the root, or doesn't it work that way?

Also, how far apart do you want to thin the chard plants from each other?

Thanks for the tips, all.
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PattyN
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Just wanted to chime in on "how to eat chard" since the majority seem to cook it...we eat it raw in salads mixed with a variety of greens. Tastes good and the beautiful coloring of our Swiss chard makes the salad gorgeous!

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I think you'd want them at least 12" apart, maybe even 18". The outer leaves flop over and crowd each other, so you want them to be far enough apart but close enough to provide good ground shade for living mulch (if you're growing in raised wide beds/blocks, that is. I guess row-growing folks always leave space on either side of the plant).

In my garden, during the summer humidity, the leaves pushing against each other tended to collect moisture and develop brown spots, which then attracted slugs (or it could be that the slugs were causing the brown spots). Anyway, I just want them to loosely support each other.

scot29
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garden5 wrote:OK, if beets are a chard, can you eat beet leaves in addition to the root, or doesn't it work that way?
Yes, you can. Leave plenty of leaves behind though.

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rainbowgardener
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scot29 wrote:
garden5 wrote:OK, if beets are a chard, can you eat beet leaves in addition to the root, or doesn't it work that way?
Yes, you can. Leave plenty of leaves behind though.
Sure, I always knew beet greens were good, even before I knew that it is really the same plant as chard.
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garden5 wrote:OK, if beets are a chard, can you eat beet leaves in addition to the root, or doesn't it work that way?
When I make borscht, I use the beet root and the beet leaves as well (plus onions, potatoes, chicken stock, dill, lemon juice, salt, and yogurt).

So...yes, you can def. eat the leaves! :D

Cynthia

DoubleDogFarm
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Garden5,

Yes, you can eat beet tops. When you thin out your beets, wash and eat the whole thing.

Spacing on chard, 4" to 6" is what I thin to.

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Eating Chard

Replying to the eating chard posting...lightly steamed and smothered in butter with a sprinkling of black pepper always works for me! I've always found this easy to grow, in fact it won't stop coming...love the stuff.
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garden5
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Thanks for the conclusion on the spacing and whether or not to eat the beet leaves. It looks like it won't just be the deer who start eating the beet greens this year.
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SarahSarah
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cynthia_h wrote:
garden5 wrote:OK, if beets are a chard, can you eat beet leaves in addition to the root, or doesn't it work that way?
When I make borscht, I use the beet root and the beet leaves as well (plus onions, potatoes, chicken stock, dill, lemon juice, salt, and yogurt).

So...yes, you can def. eat the leaves! :D

Cynthia
Your Borscht sounds delicious. Do you mind posting the recipe in the recipes forum? :-)

cynthia_h
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It's pretty much the one from Laurel's Kitchen, except that I use chicken stock where she uses veggie stock. :-)

Cynthia

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jal_ut
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OK, if beets are a chard, can you eat beet leaves in addition to the root,
Yes, you can eat the beet greens. I think they are better than chard.
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