How to Grow Chard

Planting advice for how to grow chard, recommended varieties and chard recipes.

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Beta vulgaris subsp. cicla

Great taste and nutritional value. Low maintenance and high disease resistance. Grows in shade and poor soil. Colorful leaves that double as ornamentals. What's not to like about chard? Also known as Swiss chard (though not native to Switzerland), this veggie is amazing when sautéed in olive oil with garlic.

Hardiness: Grown as a hardy annual.

Planting advice: In early or midspring, plant seeds 1/2 to 3/4 inch deep, about eight to 10 seeds per foot. Thin seedlings so they're 4 to 6 inches apart.

Harvest tips: Cut off outer leaves about 1-1/2 inches above ground level when they're 6 to 8 inches tall; younger leaves pack more flavor. Avoid nicking the terminal bud in the center.

Recommendations: Burgundy (red), Perpetual (white), Rainbow (mixed red, yellow and white).

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Source: Birds & Blooms "Grow Veggies for Less"