We've Moved

Growing Swiss Chard

Swiss ChardAs the early growing season is coming to a close, I'll soon be pulling out some of my spring crops to make room for the tomatoes, peppers and other summer favorites. The fact that my broccoli rabe has flowered is usually a good sign that it's time to start the switch over.

This spring I planted Swiss Chard for the first time. I've never even tasted it before but I've always wanted to try it. So in my usual winter seed buying frenzy I ordered some Swiss Chard to try it out. Yes, the sensible thing would have been to buy it at the market to see if I liked it first but I've never been accused of being sensible.

Before I bought the seeds, I saw a great looking recipe for pasta with Swiss Chard and bacon in an issue of Bon Appetit magazine and that's when I knew that I'd be growing swiss chard this year. The recipes in that magazine always look so good and who doesn't love bacon? I mean really, it was a no brainer.

Sometime in April, I sowed the seeds directly in the garden. Really nothing too special about growing Swiss Chard, just kept the seeds moist until they germinated like any other seed and then watched them grow. I could have weeded more around the plants but they did fine without much effort on my part.

Well, about 2-3 months later, it's harvest time and I had better make sure that I've stocked up on bacon because this weekend the chard will be picked. Hopefully, I'll like the taste of it and won't have grown it just for the compost pile. Wish me luck.

16 Comments:

  1. sarah k. said...
    I love chard, and I planted a ton this year. The nicest thing about it is that you can cut the outer leaves (1 inch from the bottom) and leave the tiniest ones in the center, and it will grow back. Sometimes you can keep it going all summer and into the fall. That is, if you don't already have the spot saved for another crop. Baby chard leaves are great in salad (a la baby spinach), and chard is also perfect for Indian dishes like saag. Also great in soups. I so hope you like your chard.
    Kristy "Greenthumb" Guthrie said...
    I ate swiss chard a ton when I lived in France. It's thicker than you average leafy green, but I thought it was tasty. I hope you enjoy it!
    Anthony said...
    Hi Sarah,
    Thanks for the tip about the leaving the center leaves. If I really like the taste, maybe I'll let it grow in it's spot all summer. I can always build more raised beds for summer stuff. :)
    Colleen said...
    Yum...chard is one of my favorite greens. It grows all season in my garden, because I harvest it exactly the way Sarah mentioned. It's a good substitute for spinach, and doesn't bolt no matter how hot it gets here.

    I like mine sauteed with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, and then served with some Parmesan on top. Mmm. I'll have to look for that Bon Apetit recipe, too :-)
    mss @ Zanthan Gardens said...
    We grew Swiss chard for the first time this year, too. We found one recipe that was really delicious. Another we couldn't stomach because it tastes like beets which neither of us likes.

    I'll grow it again because we did like the one recipe but also because it's so ornamental. And tough! Neither frost nor 100 degree heat has felled it yet.
    Anthony said...
    Colleen,
    Wow, it doesn't bolt? That's good to know. Thanks!

    Here's the Bon Apetit recipe for anyone interested. This picture, in glossy magazine format, was enough to get me to try chard. :)
    Tony said...
    Thats funny, I did the same thing with radishes. I don't even know if I like radishes, but I read that they're easy to grow and grow fast. I've only just started to get into gardening this year and bought some seeds just to see what happens. My wife thinks I'm crazy and hates them, but I've got quite a nice little patch of them growing.
    Anthony said...
    Tony,
    It's good to hear that I'm not the only one gardening blind out there. :)
    Entangled said...
    I was going to mention the same thing that MSS @ Zanthan said about the "beet taste". If you like the earthy taste of beets, you'll like Swiss Chard. I think it needs something like vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, spices (maybe not all at the same time) to tone down the earthiness. Just last night, I tossed some into a Thai Chile and Basil stir-fry, and we liked it that way. The Bon Appetit recipe sounds good!
    kellypea said...
    Chard is one of my favorites. I love it sauteed with a nice pasta, white beans, garlic & good sausage. Totally excellent. Okay, and then in minestrone, too. Your Bon Appetit link didn't work for me for some reason...
    Anthony said...
    Hi entangled,
    Yes, I like beets a lot so that sounds like good news.

    Kelly,
    I would eat a shoe if it was cooked with garlic and sausage. :)

    My wife does a nice white bean, pasta, garlic & sausage with escarole. We'll have to try it with Chard.
    Gary said...
    I planted swiss chard this year, and it must have been good - the bunnies loved it. Next year, I hope to be able to be able to try it myself. Hope you enjoyed yours.
    Anthony said...
    Hi Gary,
    Don't you just hate bunnies? :)

    I've had good luck with a black mesh deer fence around my garden. It looks like bird netting so it's not an eyesore but it does the trick.
    Dave said...
    I often make a version of rebolita (a Tuscan Soup) using Swiss Chard. My wife loves it.
    Anonymous said...
    What does it look like when it first pops. I want to weed butt am not sure don't want to weed the swiss chard
    Anthony said...
    I'd wait to weed until you see some thick stalks.

Post a Comment



The Compost Bin - Copyright 2006-2012 No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission. | Privacy Policy | Google