Chard, Swiss Fordhook

If you’re a “chard head” like us, you’re in select company, as Swiss Chard is not commonly available these days.  No matter – enjoy Fordhook Swiss Chard steamed or boiled with a touch of butter.    The Fordhook Swiss Chard is a versatile and resilient variety that can be grown successfully in just about any climate.

Chard, Swiss Fordhook Plant Info

  • PLANT TYPE: Annual
  • SCIENTIFIC NAME: Beta vulgaris var cicla
  • LIGHT: Full sun but will tolerate light shade
  • SOIL TYPE: Medium-rich, well-drained, deep sandy loam
  • pH RANGE: 6.2 – 7.0
  • MOISTURE/WATERING: Average
  • MATURITY IN DAYS: Starting at 35 days
  • KNOWN PESTS: Leaf miner
  • KNOWN DISEASES: N/A

OVERVIEW:

Swiss chard is one of the easiest vegetables to grow, it will keep growing right through the winter in mild climates.  Swiss chard is a good source of beta-carotene.  Also known as chard, these greens come from a variety of beet grown for its stems and leaves, not the roots.

Unlike many greens, the stalks of Swiss chard are completely edible – many people consider it the best part of the plant.  Unless the swiss chard is young, the stalks should be separated from the leaves and cooked a little longer.

PROPAGATION / SOWING OF SWISS CHARD:

Swiss Chard thrives in cool weather, so plant as soon as the soil can be worked, or at soil temperatures of 10-29°C (50-85°F).  For a fall crop, plant again in late August or early September.  Sow swiss chard thinly, about ½” deep.  Thin plants to 1-3 inches apart, in rows 12-24 inches apart.

CARE & GROWING OF SWISS CHARD:

Swiss chard prefer full sun, but will tolerate light shade, with a soil pH of 6.2-7.0.  Moderate feeder, requires a fertile, well cultivated soil.  Enrich soil with plenty of compost and well rotted manure.  Needs even moisture for good growth.  Drought and warm temperatures will cause premature bolting.  For all season production, provide regular feedings with a well balanced fertilizer or compost tea.

HARVESTING OF SWISS CHARD:

The tender, flavourful vitamin-rich swiss chard leaves may be cut as soon as they are big enough to eat.  Harvested regularly, Swiss Chard will continue to produce fresh greens.

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