Bright Lights (Swiss Chard)
Latin Name: Beta vulgaris cicla
Item #: 41F
Sow @ 4-6 lbs/1.8-2.7 kg per acre; 1 oz/28 g per 100 ft/31 m
CULTURE: May be sown from April 15th until June 15th. Sow seed 0.5-0.75 in/13-19 mm deep in a sunny location. Thin seedlings to 4 in/10 cm apart when they are about 2 in/5 cm high. Pull every other plant for early summer use so that remaining plants are 8 in/20 cm apart. In early August trim off all the old leaves and give the row a light side dressing of a high nitrate fertilizer, you can have fine greens until frost. Plants must be watered during dry periods to prevent tender celery-like stalks from becoming woody. Savoyed leaves are harvested throughout the season as a cut and come again vegetable, they are cooked like spinach. Outer leaf stalks make delicious fritters. Mid ribs are eaten like celery or rhubarb. Plants withstand hot summer temperatures - a delicious, easy to grow alternative to spinach. Where spinach bolts to seed, swiss chard keeps right on producing.