Veggie Spotlight: Swiss Chard
Nothing can pull someone’s eye toward a kitchen garden quite like the jewel-toned stems and rich green leaves of Swiss chard. In the same family as beets and spinach, Swiss chard packs a nutrient-dense punch unmatched by most other leafy greens. Even a small serving gives you more than your daily requirement of vitamins A and K, plus vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, vitamin E, plenty of antioxidants, and fiber.
If you’re not a huge fan of spinach or kale, consider substituting Swiss chard in your recipes or salads. Both the stems and leaves of chard are quite tasty and can be sautéd, tossed into a smoothie, baked, pickled, or eaten raw.
This is the ideal veggie for busy or inexperienced gardeners. Native to the Mediterranean, it
can tolerate poor soil, water, and even sun conditions, though it flourishes in full sun.
Types: “bright lights” chard, fordhook giant, magenta sunset, orange fantasia
Growing Tips: Here in Austin, Texas, we’re blessed with two cool seasons (early spring and late fall) that provide ideal conditions for this veggie. Chard can even tolerate our hot summers (though it won’t grow as quickly) if watered consistently. When planted with full sun, this attention-catching plant can live up to two years in your garden.
Harvesting: Swiss chard is a “cut-and-come-again” kind of crop, which means you can keep harvesting leaves all season. Once your plant is taller than six inches, take the older outer leaves and allow the younger ones to continue growing for next time. By harvesting regularly, you can encourage your plant to keep on producing. It’s really that easy.
Storing: Wash your leaves and store them in the refrigerator inside a ventilated container. You can separate the leaves from the stems for cooking with a sharp knife.
You will not regret adding this stunning and tasty plant to your garden. CLICK HERE TO GROW WITH US if you'd like to learn more about other easy-to-grow edible plants here in Austin, Texas.