Chard, Beta vulgaris var. cicla, is often referred to as Swiss chard or perpetual spinach. Surprisingly chard is a close relative of the beet, but is grown for the edible stem and leaves, as opposed to the root.
Chard is believed to of originated from Sicily and has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its great flavour and added ornamental appeal. The plants look fantastic growing on the plot, allotment or border and hold their colours well whilst cooking. Young stems and leaves have a sweet, mild flavour making excellent additions to salads. However, plants can be grown on to allow the flavour to strengthen, but larger leaves may benefit from cooking. Read more
How to grow Chard
Chard grows well in an open sunny site and like other leafy greens prefer well-drained, reasonably fertile soil that's been enriched with well-rotted garden compost or manure (such as Orgro). For best results before sowing, rake in a handful of general purpose fertiliser per square metre.
Sow outdoors from Mid-March until end of July, thinly at a depth of approx. 2.5cm (1in) in rows that are approx 40cm (15in) apart. Thin out seedlings when they are approx. 2.5cm (1in) high leaving one every 30cm (1ft).
Keep plants well-watered, especially in dry periods. Pick leaves whilst young for use in salads and cold dishes or grow on to allow leaves and stems to develop. We recommend harvesting regularly to encourage regrowth of the plant for future harvests. Show less