How best to grow chard?

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Ben1971
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How best to grow chard?

Post: # 190437Post Ben1971
Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:03 pm

Hi all.

I have bought some multi-coloured chard seeds. I have never eaten chard or tried to grow it. The packet says to sow direct oudoors. It is best to sow indoors first? Also, do they like compacted soil like cabbage and cauliflowers? I have a raised bed which I am setting up soon plus 2 other beds, of which one will be firm soil for cabbage etc.

Thanks in advance

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Re: How best to grow chard?

Post: # 190449Post theabsinthefairy
Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:46 pm

I grow rainbow chard every year and have found that it is best to sow outside once the risk of frost has passed.

If there is any danger of frost damage to the young seedlings throw a few under some plastic bottle cloches and keep the cloches in place until the frost danger has passed.

I don't tend to grow it in a row, but a pinch of seeds together, a pace and then another pinch of seeds.

It doesn't seem to mind where it grows, and so I grow mine in partial shade under the apple trees, where there is not a lot of rooting space and the ground is quite compacted and a bit poorer than the rest of the veggie plot.

And anywhere it grows, spinach grows and vice versa so you can mix the two up together.
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Ben1971
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Re: How best to grow chard?

Post: # 190458Post Ben1971
Thu Mar 18, 2010 9:50 pm

Thanks absinthe I will try that! :wink:

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Re: How best to grow chard?

Post: # 190470Post MKG
Fri Mar 19, 2010 12:48 am

My chard experience - if you sow it, it grows ... and grows.

The rainbow version is a beautiful plant, even if you end up not liking it. But I'm sure you already know that you can use the leaf stems AND the leaves. Treat the leaves as spinach. Saute the chopped stems in butter - delicious.

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Re: How best to grow chard?

Post: # 190532Post phil55494
Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:44 pm

It's also quite hardy. We have overwintered it before now without protection. Provides some nice fresh stuff in spring before it goes to flower.

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Re: How best to grow chard?

Post: # 190549Post Millymollymandy
Fri Mar 19, 2010 4:11 pm

I agree. I think it's a plant to put into flower beds! Looks really stunning but better admired than eaten. IMO of course. :lol:
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Re: How best to grow chard?

Post: # 190594Post happyigloo
Fri Mar 19, 2010 10:33 pm

I love the stuff. I planted swiss chard last year and used it as my main salad crop all summer and into autumn. I use to pick the leaves randomly rather than pulling a whole plant.

It's also great in cooked food. Use it instead of spinach.

I only pulled it up last week (lazyness on my part). There were some leaves that still looked good enough to eat even after the big freeze.

I wouldn't worry about planting it out. It's pretty hardy.

I got the multicoloured this year too. I assume it will be very similar to the white stemmed one I had last time.

Enjoy :icon_smile:

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Re: How best to grow chard?

Post: # 190596Post Ben1971
Fri Mar 19, 2010 11:09 pm

phil55494 wrote:It's also quite hardy. We have overwintered it before now without protection. Provides some nice fresh stuff in spring before it goes to flower.
So can I treat it like a perenial? Sounds good.... that is if I like eating it of course. My dad loves it but I have never tried it.

Thanks for the advice, everyone. :cooldude:

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Re: How best to grow chard?

Post: # 190639Post Plotter
Sat Mar 20, 2010 1:54 pm

I think it is actually a biennial, it will go to seed in it's second year although I believe the leaves are still edible when it is flowering. I have left a few plants to go to seed in the past and collected the seed. They can get to 6ft tall easily but the seed is easily collected.

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Re: How best to grow chard?

Post: # 190769Post Ben1971
Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:46 pm

Thanks Plotter. :salute:

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Re: How best to grow chard?

Post: # 190797Post A&A
Mon Mar 22, 2010 9:23 am

We grew swiss chard this winter both indoors (polytunnel) & outdoors. With just 18 plants, we've been eating the indoor stuff every week and have given away loads - always by leaf-picking. Since mid-february it has really started to grow rapidly & we can't eat enough of it now! It looks stunning - bright, bright green. The outdoor stuff is alive and well having over-wintered on it's own without protection. It's just starting to grow now that the days are lengthening & the soil warming.
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Re: How best to grow chard?

Post: # 227806Post Ben1971
Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:26 am

Well, the Chard turned out to grow very well! The only thing is, I don't like them when fully grown. I have some seed left over from last year so will sow them and use as salad leaves when small.... I like them! :)

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Re: How best to grow chard?

Post: # 227843Post grahamhobbs
Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:41 am

This year was a hard winter and although the frost didn't appear to do any harm to our chard, the pigeons did. Although our normal brassicas were well netted, I think the birds were desperate for anything to eat this winter, they ate things we don't normally bother protecting, chard, spinach, lambs lettuce

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Re: How best to grow chard?

Post: # 227845Post red
Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:43 am

i grow it in modules first then plant out.
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Re: How best to grow chard?

Post: # 227892Post Green Aura
Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:15 pm

It's very easy to grow - but a word of advice - treat it as young salad leaves. It's delicious when tiny but as others have mentioned the stems of the mature plant are an acquired taste! :lol:

I would suggest succession planting small amounts, as you would salad leaves, and maybe let one plant grow on to maturity to see if you like it. That way you're not going to be stuck with a load of stuff you can't eat.
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