Rainbow Swiss Chard
1 GALLON RAINBOW SWISS CHARD
Beta vulgaris var. cicla
USDA Zones 6-10 (biennial); 3-10 (annual)
This brilliantly colored, nutritious, leafy green grows well in raised garden beds, containers, & in-ground gardens. When planting outdoors, plant in the spring, 2-4 weeks before the last frost date. I have them planted now & they are thriving!
Leafy vegetables need a good bit of water to grow, so be sure to give them 1-1.5” of water weekly. They tolerate heat well, as long as you keep them properly watered.
When planting in the ground, give them 12-18” of space between each plant. They’ll need a well drained soil, ph between 6 & 6.8. In a container garden, plant as closely as you wish, but keep in mind you will have to continuously clip leaves off to keep the shape of your garden & your plant will not grow as fast as in the ground.
Apply organic mulch, such as compost, finely ground leaves, wheat straw, or finely ground bark to keep soil cool & moist, & to keep down weeds. Mulching will also keep the plant clean, reducing risk of disease.
Even if you don’t plan on eating the chard, they add a brilliant pop of color to any container or garden!
Harvest your Swiss Chard anytime the leaves are large enough to eat. Younger leaves will be more tender & flavorful. They make a beautiful color addition to salads. Cut out the midrib of larger leaves when cooking or chopping into salads. Chop large leaves to cook down like spinach, or use in casseroles, soups, & pasta. Whole harvested leaves will keep in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks in a loose plastic bag or sealed container.
In areas that never experience a hard freeze, Swiss chard sometimes behaves like a perennial, living for several years. When it blooms, you can cut the bloom stall off & it will produce more leaves.
Full sun - partial shade; It can stand partial shade, but thrives in full sun (at least 4-6 hours per day).
Rich, well draining soil; Mulch will keep the soil moist & the leaves clean.
Moderate; 1-1.5" per week; Keep the plants well watered & harvest regularly to keep their growth rate steady & quick, as well as making harvest time longer.
Blooms yellow flowers during the summer.
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