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Perpetual spinach
Leaf-beet-bright-lights-plants-pack-of-18-plug-1-
Chard. Variety: Bright lights
Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Chenopodiaceae
Genus: Beta
Species: Beta vulgaris var. cicla
Synonyms

Chard Crab beet
Leaf beet
Mangold
Seakale beet
Silverbeet
Spinach beet
Swiss chard

Plant Data
Min germination temp: 10°C (50°F)
Max germination temp: 30°C (86°F)
Germination time: 8 days
Time to harvesting: +60 days
Mature height: 45cm (17.5in)
Mature spread: 30 cm (12in)
Ideal pH range: 6.1 - 7.5
Sow depth: 1cm (0.5in)
Sow spacing: 10cm (4in)
Sow row spacing: 40cm (15in)
Hardiness Zones
Ideal Hardiness Zones
· · · · · 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 ·

Perpetual spinach (Beta vulgaris var. cicla) is a leafy vegetable, and is one of the cultivated descendants of the sea beet, Beta vulgaris subsp. maritima. Although the leaves are eaten, it is within the same species as beetroot, which is usually grown primarily for its edible roots.[1]


PlannerEdit

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Sowing Time
Picking Time


GrowingEdit

LocationEdit

Choose a sunny spot to plant chard in although it will tolerate partial shade. It can withstand a very mild frost, but tender new leaves will be damaged, consider covering with a cloche if this is liable to be an issue. Being a cool weather crop, if it does get too sunny/dry it is liable to bolt.

SoilEdit

Dig over the soil 2 weeks before sowing and incorporate some organic matter to increase water retention and aeration. Break up any large clods of soil to produce a fine, even tilth. Ideally a nutral pH is required.

SowingEdit

Sow directly into the soil from late March after the last frost. Prepare drills 1cm (0.5in) deep and 40cm (15in) apart. Sow seeds 10cm (4in) apart.

In this way you'll get an early harvest of younger, tender leaves suitable for salads.

AftercareEdit

You do not need to water chard as much as ordinary spinach, but will still require regular watering or it may bolt. If this occurs cut the flower head off to extend the harvest.

HarvestEdit

Chard is considered a 'cut and come again' crop. This means you do not need to lift the whole plant, but rather take the leaves that you need (ideally the older ones) and it will continue to produce new growth. Older leaves will become more fibrous so harvesting regularly will ensure a continual supply of tender, younger leaves for the duration of the season. Be sure not to damage the central bud at the base of the stalks when harvesting.

StorageEdit

Chard does not store for more than 3 days in the fridge, however, you can freeze it to add to soups, stews, curries etc if you blanch it first. Consider packing blanched spinach into ice cube trays and then storing the frozen spinach cubes in bags to add one individually to meals.

TroublesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Eat with the beet, Monty Don, 9 February 2003, The Guardian
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