Beta vulgaris (Cicla Group)
Also known as
Silverbeet, Chard, Spinasiebeet (Afr.)
Photo by CandideUK (All rights reserved)
This plant has no fragrance
Swiss Chard Overview
Beta vulgaris (Cicla Group) is better known by the common name Swiss Chard. Swiss Chard is an easy-to-grow, upright vegetable with Spinach-like leaves. It is very tolerant of heat and cold and is a good source of greens for much of the growing season. The leaf stalks are large and often used separately from the leaf blade, both very healthy and part of a Mediterranean diet. The stems of Swiss chard are removed of their leaves and cooked like asparagus. The leaves are treated and cooked like spinach.
Common problems with Swiss Chard
Swiss Chard Companion Plants
Strawberries, beetroot, brassicas, celery, sweet peppers, onions
How to harvest Swiss Chard
Young leaves are ready to be harvested 25 days after sowing and mature leaves after 50 days. Harvest leaves regularly as the older leaves can become tough. Chard is a cut-and-come-again crop, so use a knife rather than pulling off the leaves.
How to propagate Swiss Chard
Sow seeds directly from mid-spring to midsummer, 6-10 mm deep and 20-30 cm apart. Germination takes 7-12 days.
Special features of Swiss Chard
Provided it is in a deep container.
Good alternative for crop rotation. When most other groups of vegetables that can not be planted straight after each other.
Other uses of Swiss Chard
High in vitamin A, C and K as well as fibre and minerals.
Leaves, stems and flowers are edible. The leaves can be cooked like spinach or be eaten raw; stems can be cooked like asparagus and served with butter; flower stalks can be cooked like broccoli.
Edible to Sow Under Cover in May
Successional sow small batches on a sunny windowsill or in a heated propagator, ready to plant out later in the month.