When it comes to vegetables, the chard plant is quite versatile! Part of the beet root family, Swiss Chard is also known by the common names of silver beet, spinach beet, crab beet and seakale beet. However, it is generally grown for its leaves and not the root. It contains vital polyphenol antioxidants.
Its roots (no pun intended!) go back to the Mediterranean regions, where it is been widely used and valued for its nutritional value for generations. Although the leaf is slightly bitter when eaten raw, it loses its bitterness when cooked. If you go on-line, there are many sites with recipes and you will see a number of varieties.
The variety that is quite colorful in the garden is the Ruby Chard or Rhubarb Chard. Its stalk is bright red against a full green leaf. In the garden, it makes a great contrast to other greenery and can be used as an accent plant in other beds too! It typically is planted in the spring & fall and does quite well with temperatures under 85 degrees.
So give this one a try and enjoy both good nutrition and color in your garden!
Garden habitat: Container or garden.
Exposure: Full sun to partial sun.
Care: Fertilize (organic is best).
Harvest time: Fall, winter, spring