Plant of the Month

SWISS CHARD

Did you know that Swiss Chard comes from the Beet Family? Its punch is not stored in the root-like a beet, instead, it shows it power in its colorful leaves and stems. Think spinach meets celery infused with neon colors.

Swiss chard is a biennial that grows as an annual in all temperate zones. It’s hardy to approximately 15°F, but while it does best in cool temperatures, it can tolerate heat with adequate watering. Successful growth requires a location that gets full sun to part shade, with soil that is organically rich and well-draining.

Harvest your greens when your chard plants are around 9-12 inches high. If you wait until they’re much taller than that, they’ll lose some of their flavors. Cut the outer leaves first to allow the tender inner leaves to grow. Once you’ve completely harvested a chard plant, go ahead and pull it up and toss the root into your compost. This will give your remaining plants more space to grow.

​Swiss chard’s dietary fiber and color is not it’s only benefit. This amazing superfood is an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K, as well as minerals like iron, magnesium, copper and potassium.

Swiss chard is delicious and most commonly prepared by sauteeing with onions, garlic, lemon, or other herbs and spices.

Swiss chard is so beautiful that it should be grown where it is easily seen. A great vegetable for edible ornamental beds.

Happy Gardening!

Mary Church