Swiss Chard

Common Name – Swiss Chard

Plant Identification

Family: Beta (Beet family)
Species: Vulgaris
Plant type: vegetable
Note: Chard can be harvested while the leaves are young and tender, or after maturity, when they are larger and have slightly tougher stems. Chard has shiny green ribbed leaves, with stems that range from white to yellow to red, depending on the cultivar.

Plant Images

Swiss Chard

Chard leaves

Plant Descriptions

Fruit / flower: none
Colour: none
Flowering time: none
Flower size: none
Fragrance: none
Height: 50 to 60cm
Width: 30cm leaf span
Foliage description: glossy, edible leaves
Foliage colour: deep green

Plant Requirements

Light preference: full sun plant in spring
Watering: deep water once a week
Temperature: full sun
Soil requirements: fertile well drained
Fertilisation: does well with organic fertilizer
Pruning: none – remove leaves as needed

Other Information

Insects: slugs a pest
Diseases: Cercospora leaf spot (fungal)
Propogation: from seed
Other notes: It has a slightly bitter taste. Chard is a beet that has been chosen for leaf production at the expense of storage root formation. Chard packs a huge amount of vitamin A and it is naturally high in sodium. One cup contains 313 mg of sodium, which is very high for vegetables. Chard is also surprisingly high in other minerals as well, i.e., calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. Swiss chard is not only one of the most popular vegetables along the Mediterranean but it is one of the most nutritious vegetables around and ranks second only to spinach following our analysis of the total nutrient-richness of the World’s Healthiest vegetables. It is also one of only three vegetables that we recommend boiling to help reduce its concentration of oxalic acid.

About the author: Barbara

Country living is the best! Being a true spirit of the earth, my garden is all about vegetables and fruit trees and herbs and chickens roaming free. I was keen to really start gardening when we moved to Philadelphia in 2005, but not your typical suburban-type garden – sterile and bug-free! I wanted an edible garden.

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