photo by Catalina Castillo
Chard is one of the most productive & reliable of garden greens. The magnificent magenta coloration of this variety makes it a colorful “clip & come back” addition to salads. If you grow it to full size (24”), you can harvest leaves as you need them - in the rainy season it is best to pull the stems off without leaving stubs. Or you can cut the whole plant down & it will be back fast. Steam the leaves & use as you would Spinach. Chard aficionados often steam the leaves & the stems briefly, but I prefer to cook them 45 minutes (with garlic, paprika & cilantro) which renders them milder & with a silky mouthfeel. Chard is not fussy about soil but does appreciate organic matter & fertilizer. Plant 8” apart in sun or part shade. Fall planted Chard will bolt in the Spring & should be replaced at that time.