In this category for quality seeds, we want to introduce you to a relatively "new" vegetable for our market and kitchen, which, however, is purposefully starting to gain popularity and spread. There are several reasons, but this green leafy vegetable, which resembles spinach in many characteristics, is defined as an excellent, useful and tasty find. In this section you will find varietal seeds, also known under the names of spinach or beetroot - Mangold.
Swiss chard is a leafy vegetable that is widely used in Mediterranean cuisine. Touted as a superfood by many, Swiss chard ranks as one of the healthiest leafy greens. The elements found in the composition of this vegetable are in an almost perfect ratio, which is also the reason why chard was one of the first vegetables to be grown in planetary space stations for astronauts.
What exactly is Chard?
It is a herbaceous plant, part of the Styraceae family. It is characterized by broad leaves colored in green colors that closely resemble those of spinach. The differences are that beetroot spinach has denser and curlier leaves. The striking part of its external feature is the stems. Dense and patterned - they are dressed in red, white, yellow and purple colors, making the appearance of the vegetable very remarkable and beautiful. Swiss chard has a pleasant and mild taste.
The reason why beetroot is so popular lies mainly in its valuable nutritional content. Its leaves are rich in vitamins A, C, K, trace elements such as iron, magnesium, copper and calcium, fiber, amino acids, lutein, protein and very few calories.
This is the vegetable that we should include in our menu, because from 100 grams the body receives 50% vitamin C, 122% vitamin A, 5% calcium, 10% iron and 11% potassium and more.
It can become part of our table in a raw state, as well as in a cooked one.
Its use in cooking is widespread in countries such as Italy, where beetroot has become part of the country's traditional foods - pizza, pasta and risotto.
Appetizing vitamin salads are prepared from spinach beets, flavored entirely according to preferences. The vegetable must be washed and its stems removed, as they are not suitable for raw consumption.
However, the stalks can be cooked separately and eaten. Boiled they become a great delicacy!
Besides salads, Swiss chard is a perfect choice for soups!
Regular consumption of beetroot is highly recommended for boosting immunity and increasing overall energy. The green leafy vegetable helps with heart disease, diabetes, anemia and strengthens bones. Like other leafy greens, beetroot spinach is a perfect choice for people who want to get rid of extra pounds.
Low in calories and rich in useful substances, chard is the right vegetable for a dietary and healthy lifestyle!
Swiss chard, also known as silverbeet or simply chard, is a leafy green vegetable that belongs to the same family as beets and spinach. It is valued for its vibrant-colored stems and large, tender leaves. Here's all you need to know about Swiss chard:
Swiss chard comes in various varieties, including Bright Lights, Fordhook Giant, Rhubarb Chard, and Rainbow Chard. These varieties have different stem colors, ranging from white and yellow to pink, red, and even orange.
Swiss chard is highly nutritious and packed with essential vitamins and minerals. It is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as potassium, magnesium, and iron.
It is low in calories and rich in fiber, making it a healthy addition to a balanced diet.
Appearance and Taste:
Swiss chard has large, glossy leaves with a slightly bitter and earthy taste. The stems vary in color and are often cooked separately from the leaves due to their different cooking times and textures.
The leaves can be harvested at various stages of growth, from baby leaves to mature ones. Younger leaves are more tender and mild in flavor.
Swiss chard is a cool-season crop that can tolerate a wide range of climates but prefers temperatures between 50-75°F (10-24°C).
It can be grown from seeds or transplants. Start seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost date or sow them directly in the garden once the soil temperature reaches around 50°F (10°C).
Choose a well-draining location in full sun or partial shade and prepare the soil by adding compost or well-rotted manure to improve fertility.
Plant the seeds or transplants about 12-18 inches (30-45 cm) apart, with rows spaced 18-24 inches (45-60 cm) apart.
Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged throughout the growing season.
Swiss chard is relatively low-maintenance and generally resistant to pests and diseases.
Harvesting and Storage:
Harvest Swiss chard leaves when they reach a desirable size, usually around 8-12 inches (20-30 cm) long. Cut the outer leaves near the base, leaving the inner leaves to continue growing.
The leaves can be used immediately or stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.
The stems can also be harvested, either by cutting them individually or harvesting the whole plant at once. Use a sharp knife or scissors to remove the stems.
Swiss chard is versatile and can be enjoyed in various ways. The leaves can be sautéed, steamed, stir-fried, or added to soups, stews, and pasta dishes.
The stems can be cooked separately or used in recipes that call for colorful vegetable additions.
Swiss chard can also be enjoyed raw in salads or used as a wrap for fillings.
Swiss chard is a nutritious and flavorful vegetable that can be a valuable addition to your garden and meals. With its vibrant colors and versatility in cooking, it's no wonder Swiss chard is a popular choice for home gardeners and chefs alike.
Swiss chard seeds are the starting point for growing your own Swiss chard plants. Here's some information about Swiss chard seeds:
Choose high-quality Swiss chard seeds from a reputable source. Look for fresh seeds that are not expired or damaged.
There are different varieties of Swiss chard available, each with its own unique characteristics. Consider factors such as stem color, leaf shape, and flavor when selecting seeds.
Swiss chard seeds typically germinate best in soil temperatures between 50-85°F (10-29°C).
Ensure the soil is well-draining and rich in organic matter to promote healthy seedling growth.
Starting Seeds Indoors:
Start Swiss chard seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before the last expected frost date in your area.
Use seed-starting trays or pots filled with a seed-starting mix, which provides good drainage and moisture retention.
Sow the seeds approximately ¼ to ½ inch (6-12 mm) deep, spacing them 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) apart.
Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged during germination.
Place the trays/pots in a warm location or use a heat mat to maintain soil temperature.
Swiss chard seeds can also be sown directly in the garden once the soil temperature reaches around 50°F (10°C) and all danger of frost has passed.
Prepare the garden bed by loosening the soil and removing any weeds. Incorporate compost or well-rotted manure to improve soil fertility.
Sow the seeds at a depth of approximately ½ to 1 inch (1-2.5 cm), spacing them 2-4 inches (5-10 cm) apart in rows spaced 12-18 inches (30-45 cm) apart.
Cover the seeds with soil, firm gently, and water thoroughly.
Germination and Transplanting:
Swiss chard seeds usually germinate within 7-14 days, depending on the temperature and conditions.
Once the seedlings have developed a few sets of true leaves and the risk of frost has passed, they can be transplanted into the garden or larger pots.
Space the transplants 12-18 inches (30-45 cm) apart in rows spaced 18-24 inches (45-60 cm) apart.
Care and Maintenance:
Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged throughout the growing season.
Thin out overcrowded seedlings to ensure proper spacing and promote healthy growth.
Mulch around the plants to help retain moisture, suppress weed growth, and regulate soil temperature.
Fertilize the plants regularly with a balanced organic fertilizer to provide essential nutrients.
If you want to save Swiss chard seeds for future planting, allow a few plants to fully mature without harvesting the leaves.
In the second year of growth, the plants will produce tall flowering stalks with clusters of seeds.
Allow the seeds to fully ripen and dry on the stalks. Harvest the seeds by gently shaking or rubbing the seed heads.
Store the dried seeds in a cool, dry place in airtight containers until ready to use.
By following these steps, you can grow Swiss chard from seeds and enjoy a bountiful harvest of nutritious and flavorful greens. Remember to provide the plants with proper care, including adequate watering, sunlight, and fertility, to ensure their healthy growth and productivity.
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