WikiP says its Mediterranean and "Swiss" is to distinguish from French.
Does anybody have "French chard"?
It's pretty hardy and flexible, not fussy really. It will self-seed and
grow in all sorts of places.
You will be faced with one of life's turning points. To eat the stalks or
not. If you choose yes then cook the stalks separately from the leaves
otherwise the one will be underdone and the other overdone. The key is to
pick them while the leaves are tender and not too strong in flavour. The
leaves can be allowed to grow to full size (or nearly) but regular cutting
keeps them producing.
And snails and slugs
If they get at least some sun they will grow but they are best in full sun.
No. Harvest according to the vigour of the plant. Cut from the outside and
always leave a few healthy leaves in the centre to carry on. Once they are
going well you may be able to cut quite frequently and still have them
harvest a little this year after
Harvest as soon as they have enough leaves.
are these biannual
Yes. They ARE beets!
says the seeds want even moisture
You can start them in trays, they transplant quite well.
how hardy are they when it gets hot
They will do better than many leafy veges like lettuce but try to keep them
watered or they will wilt in the afternoon.
do they get deep tap roots?
Yes. When the flower stalk comes up you can cut all the baby leaves along
its sides which will be very tender and mild
spread by root division?
No only seed.
i like rhubarb stalks cooked or raw once
in a while. when i was eating chard before
i would eat the whole leaf usually raw as
a wrap or chop it up and throw it in a stir
fry of some sort. i like veggies on the
crunchy side even when cooked, so a little
hard stalk isn't going to bother me. i've
also had it cooked in a pastry and that was
good too. i'm not really fussy either as
long as you don't put black pepper on it...
that would have to cross several feet of
bare, dry dirt right now to get to where
they are at. don't see too many snails
around here. i think the birds get them.
they'll have 6-9hrs of sun at least on
the days when the sun is out. i put them to
the north and to the west and in the center
so we'll see what they do for shading surrounding
plants and sun blocking, and also how they do
growing with some companion legumes.
but no round root to eat?
too late for that. i've never had any
trouble starting beets here so i figure i
just need to remember to give them a shot
of water if we've not had any rain.
pretty much what i would do for any of
the seeded in gardens.
that's good to know. all of the patches i
planted have an underlaying clay that will hold
water if the roots can get down that far. one
is along an edge that is low that it is usually
damp even when it gets dry for quite some time.
that will be fun to see. much more fun than
great, thanks for your answers.
anything else i should know about them? :)
is it likely that a mix like this will
even and average out in color as it self-and-
cross pollinates? sometimes this happens
with flowers (like the cosmos if i don't
select seeds by color and petal count and
height they'll all go mostly orange).
No, that's "poor" soil.
average: everything in between those two
When I grew chard, what I found was that it had an inverse
relationship to eating healthy. Prolly because everyone I asked about
how best to prepare it responded with "first, fry up some bacon..."
Every year, I like to try growing a few things I didn't grow
previously. Not merely a different variety of something, but an
entirely new thing. This year, it's Okra and Rhubarb. Also looking
to pickle cucumbers, so growing types good for that. Last year was
Cardoon and Eggplant.
Dang good thing I've got the space to grow lots of things.
You're welcome to think that. As a point of reference though, leaf
miners - a maggot-like larval stage of certain species of flies and
other insects, ends up eating the tissue from between the thin outer
skins (epidermus) of the leaf to the point that the leaf would be
transparent, excepting for the frass the critters expell, will love
'em. Stay on top of that, cutting off and destroying leaves showing
that type of damage. They'll also attack beets and spinach too.
Mine were always in the full sun.
It's a biennial - you want to harvest it while it has good leaves, but
before it goes to seed, at which time things will turn bitter. On
plants which yeild leaves which can be harvested without killing the
plant, I let them establish sufficiently, then I harvest a few leaves
here and there. When you have multiple such plants, it's usually easy
enough to harvest without setting them back.
They're so like beets that they share the same pests and can cross
pollinate (if you save seed, you should pay close attention to that,
because the next generation of beets (those from the saved seed) may
very well not actually produce a beetroot, though they may appear to
have beet greens).
Most plants like even moisture. If it's an issue for you, start them
in germination trays, then transplant out when they're big enough.
They'll need water. I use drip irrigation for all my raised beds (on
an irrigation timer), as well as some moveable runs in the in-ground
garden (moveable because the larger space is subject to crop rotation
as well as tilling).
My plants grew to about 8' tall (from the level of the soil), and were
in a raised bet with less than 16" of soil depth, and a fabric
weed/root barrier on the bottom. They did wonderfully well there, but
the soil was well amended with organics. They were a bear to pull up
when I went to remove them, but they didn't have a carrot-like taproot
scaled to accomodate their topside growth either.
My native soil is sandy loam. It is plenty fertile (doesn't hurt
being in an area where there was chicken farming for a long time), but
to improve the tilth, I amend that with vast quantities of organic
compost. For my 4K+ square foot garden, I have 40 cubic yards of duck
manure and rice hull compost on order right now (the last go was 20
CY), waiting for the delivery driver to get over his unease about
driving across the property after the rains). Lots of compost
improves almost everything.
Propagate by seed.
Why not look up the basic traits online, then ask for discussion about
best practices and experiences?
i find the clay to be very fertile. i'd
never call it poor soil. just has certain
ways of being that can be worked around at
times. main trouble is when it gets too
dry at the surface. as much mulch as i
can find for free i can always use.
we won't have that trouble here... neither of
us does that very often at all.
rhubarb is one of those great plants if you
really like it, comes in early enough to be
a good source of vegetable/fruitlike filling
early in the season. tastes a lot like apples
if you can ignore some of the texture and
aftermouthfeel aspects. later in the season
it goes well with a lot of other things too
or it can be put up plain. i give a lot of
it away and i only had one bunch of plants
last year, but i still gave away 60lbs of
the stalks last year. this year i have four
bunches (moved one bunch and divided it up).
so i will be able to put some up again. have
to move another patch this fall. that should
give me six to eight clumps.
remember not to harvest too close to a
hard frost (oxyalic acid moves from the
leaves down to the stalks), give it a week
or two to recover.
:) this year well be doing okra, bunching
onions and onions from seeds (to grow out for
next year if they don't get too big this year).
we'll also be putting in onion sets too. we've
done them before. red peppers we hope to be
doing this year along with the green peppers.
for peppers and tomatoes we get them from the
greenhouse. he does a good job and we always
have had good results.
i've not seen much of that sort of damage in
the past and we've grown beets for years. we
haven't grown spinach much. last year it grew
well for a short period of time but bolted even
though the package said it was not supposed to.
even the most shaded patch should get
6-8hrs at least of sun when the sun is
if i get a good germination rate i should have
a few hundred plants. then i will thin as it
goes and i can see what kind of spacing they'll
need. i'm assuming the seeds are similar to
beets too in that each clump planted will sprout
several plants. i.e. that the seeds are not
yes, i'll have to watch this, as we do grow beets,
but rarely do the red round root kinds flower, we
put them up and if we miss a few in the ground they
go to mush over the winter.
seeds in the ground already. will keep tabs on
watering. the surrounding garden will need some
watering at times too.
probably just chop the crown off and bury
things to rot.
noway can we afford that. i have to
grow as much green manure as i can and i
have a worm farm chewing up veggie scraps
and chopped greens for organic matter.
whatever free stuff i can get that i know
the owner didn't spray the lawn or had
animals then i'll take leaves and shredded
branches or bark. i've had good luck this
past year in getting about 20yards of
materials brought right to me here. i'll
be giving them beans and strawberries this
year if they'll want them.
we'll see how that goes. might be a
challenge. Ma tends to like getting
rid of plants i'd like to see flower.
it's nice to have a conversation once in
a while when i know i know very little
about the topic. i mean while i've grown
houseplants and gardens for many years and
know quite a bit in general and have studied
soil sciences, biology, botany, ecology,
chemistry, etc. it still doesn't mean i
know everything. :) it's good to be
humble once in a while.
I'm out in the country, and I've had dealings with McEvoy ranch just
outside of town.
We use a lot of olive oil in our cooking here, but I'm a big believer
in that food should itself bring a desirable flavour to the dish. i
personally just didn't find that with the Italian white-ribbed chard -
though I do have seed for some other varieties, since I don't write
off a veggie after just one type doesn't tickle my fancy.
Southern United States
Collard greens are a staple vegetable of Southern U.S. cuisine. They are
often prepared with other similar green leaf vegetables, such as kale,
turnip greens, spinach, and mustard greens in "mixed greens". They are
generally eaten year-round in the South. Typical seasonings when cooking
collards can consist of smoked and salted meats (ham hocks, smoked
turkey drumsticks, pork neckbones, fatback or other fatty meat), diced
onions, vinegar, salt, and black, white, or crushed red pepper.
Traditionally, collards are eaten on New Year's Day, along with
black-eyed peas or field peas and cornbread, to ensure wealth in the
coming year, as the leaves resemble folding money.
Cornbread is used to soak up the "pot liquor", a nutrient-rich collard
broth. Collard greens may also be thinly sliced and fermented to make
collard kraut, which is often cooked with flat dumplings.
Sonoma County's predominant immigrants were Italians, and Jews
(especially in Petaluma).
I find that being a green (I plant the green ones rather than the rainbow
ones) silver beet ('chard' to you) goes best in rich soil, but then I am a
huge fan of silver beet (chard) and use it copiously.
You mean you haven't planted it before? How did you survive without it?
Who cares about the bugs when it's one of those great plants for humans -
bugs aren't particulalrly welcome round it if they are going to compete with
me for the leaves.
Nope. As soon as the leaves are big enough and there are enough of them,
then pick some. It's a cut and come again plant but pick the leaves from
the outside. Really tiny leaves are superb in salads. Huge leaves are
loved by the chooks or any sort of livestock round here.
As David mentioned, there is that conundrum about eating the stems and/or
the leaves. The stems are nice with white sauce to which cheese has been
added. Steamed leaves are great in Greek Cheese triangles made with philo
pastry and of course there is always Spanakopita (sp??).
And as for the people who say that they must first fry bacon, I'm wondering
how on earth they are eating it. The only time I add bacon is if I am using
the tiny leaves in a salad and then those leaves are only a minor part of
the salad and I only use a tiny amount of really crispy bacon bits to give a
bit more crunch to the salad.
You will find some recipe ideas for it here, but being an aussie site you'll
need to use using the term 'silver beet' - I got 34 recipe hits but they
don't have either the Greek cheese triangles or the salad I use it in. It
goes great with cheesey additions:
I have never considered beets to be anything but annual. If you only
use the leaves, maybe so, but I grow them for the root. Both chard
and beet seeds produce multiple plants and you need to remove all but
one. I start mine in the greenhouse and as soon as they have sprouted
I separate all the seedlings and put each one into a cell. This year
I started 66 beet seeds, got 97% germination and set out 148 plants.
Each seed had from 1 to 4 plants. I will start harvesting the plants
in about a month or less.
I started 6 chard seeds, 5 germinated and I ended up with 15 plants.
I am not fond of beet or chard greens but DH likes the chard. I love
beet roots, especially pickled.
*nods* but if you want to get flower and seeds if you
can store them and plant them again you get that the
second season. no reason why that could also not be a
source for beet greens earlier in the season as the plants
would have a lot of energy stored in that root. but we
are so short on storage space of any kind here that i've
not been able to give it a try. perhaps could buy a
bundle of fresh beets at the store and put those in. :)
sounds like a plan... hmm. uhoh. hahaha... another
we eat some fresh, but like you we like them more
pickled, i usually dice some onion and steam that on
top when steaming the beets before adding the vinegar,
sugar and water.
we use the pickled beets and pickled three (or more)
bean salad (also with diced onion) as a salad dressing
a lot of the time in the middle of winter. we always
if the chard is in season when i'm doing any putting
up i'll probably chop and steam it too and toss it in
the mix. can't be any worse than canned spinach or any
other canned green. the thing with doing it ourselves
is that we avoid the metals and the salts of canned
commercial foods and pepper in some things. we used
to buy the three bean salad, but they added white pepper
to it and we both react to pepper.
They _are_ beets, albeit ones that have been bred for foliage. Pull up a
chard plant and you'll see a vestigial beet on the bottom. And yes, the
second year they will put up huge alien flower stalks festooned with
Gary Woods AKA K2AHC- PGP key on request, or at home.earthlink.net/~garygarlic
Zone 5/4 in upstate New York, 1420' elevation. NY WO G
i'll likely do that if we have extra.
diced and added to pickled beets or three
bean salad. if we have a huge amount then
i'll try canning whole stalks in a small
batch for gifts.
we like to use the beets and three bean
salad as a topping for salads, larger pieces
don't work so well for that application.
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