Swiss Chard Fordhook Giant - McKenzie Seeds
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- Mild and earthy taste
- 7 to 10 days to germination
- 50 to 60 days to maturity
- Great in salads and quiche or steamed with butter.
- Companion Planting: Beans, Cabbage, Onion, Tomato
Fordhook Giant Swiss Chard is the perfect green to grow, even in hot weather. The broad, dark green leaves have a delicate spinach flavor. Stems are broad, thick and white in color. Both the stalks and leaves are edible, making for delicious salads and quiche. It also goes well frozen or steamed with butter.
3g. (Approx. 120-130 seeds)
Sow in outdoor rows as soon as the ground can be worked. Place one seed every 3 inches and cover firmly with soil. Prefers full sun. Thin to 6 inches apart when plants are 3 inches tall. Use thinnings as fresh greens. Keep plants heavily mulched and moist.
Planting Depth: 1.3 cm (1/2")
Planting Spacing: 25 cm (10")
Row Spacing: 45 cm (18")
The addition of organic matter prior to planting is an excellent way to increase soil quality by improving nutrient levels, increasing moisture retention in the soil as well as soil aeration.
It is best to break up any large clumps of soil prior to planting and rake the soil to obtain the optimal soil structure.
Sow seeds 13 mm (1/2″) deep and 2.5 cm (1″) apart. Rows should be spaced 45 cm (18″) apart. When seedlings are approximately 5 cm (2”) tall, thin the seedlings to 10 cm (4″) apart.
Seeds germinate in approximately 7-10 days.
Grown for their leaves and stems where the leaves are eaten like spinach and the colorful stems are cooked like asparagus. Small leaves are a colorful addition to salads as well.
Water regularly for optimum growth which also helps reduce the likelihood of plants bolting (going to seed).
Leaves of Swiss Chard are very decorative and can easily be added to containers or flower gardens for a wonderful effect with the added bonus of harvesting a healthy vegetable that can be eaten fresh in salads or lightly steamed with butter.
Companion Planting: Beans, Cabbage, Onion, Tomato
Harvesting and Storage: Harvesting can occur in a few ways. The whole plant can be cut away approximately 2” from the ground and the entire plant will grow again or just remove the outer larger leaves and leave the inner young leaves to keep growing and harvested later.
Swiss Chard does not store well for a long period of time and should be eaten the same day of picking or stored inside plastic bags the refrigerator and used in 3-4 days.
Leaves can be picked at any time or cut leaf stalks just above ground level and the plant will continue to produce all season long.
Preparation Ideas: Rinse and clean leaves in water. Shake leaves to remove water. Let leaves dry on kitchen towel or paper toweling. Heat olive oil in frying pan. Add sliced or chopped garlic and cook garlic until tender and fragrant. Tear or cut swiss chard leaves into pieces. You can cut out and remove the stalks from the leaves if they are thick or your can chop the stalks into 1" pieces and pre Sautee in the olive oil/garlic mixture. Fry stalks until tender (approximately 5 minutes). Lower heat add leaf pieces and fry leaves for approximately 5 minutes or until desired doneness. Stir constantly and serve immediately.