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BETA vulgaris ssp. cicla 'Fordhook Giant'
The old reliable cultivar ‘Fordhook Giant’ has been a favorite Swiss chard since it was introduced in 1934. It has large, deep green, heavily savoyed (wrinkled) leaves with thick white stems and veins. It is a vigorous grower and has a mild flavor.
Swiss chard is planted for its big crinkled leaves that can be eaten in salads, soups or simply steamed or sautéed. Usually grown as an annual, it is a true biennial. Unlike its cousin the beet, chard is not grown for its fleshy roots but for its large edible leaves and fleshy stems that can be harvested all season. If not harvested in the first year plants will produce spikes of unimpressive flowers the second.
This is an easy vegetable to grow. It prefers full sun and fertile, slightly alkaline garden soil. It is quite heat tolerant but flourishes in cooler seasons. In fact, the leaves may become bitter in extremely hot weather. Plants may be directly seeded or transplanted into the vegetable garden. Sow chard a few weeks before the last frost date in temperate zones and in the winter in warm, frost-free areas. Feed with a balanced fertilizer and water regularly.
Harvest can begin 50 to 60 days after seeding. Leaves should be gathered by cutting the oldest outer stems close to the ground. These have a short shelf life, so eat them quickly.
This standard chard has bold looking leaves that can also be planted ornamentally in containers and sunny mixed borders.
12 - 1
6 - 10
A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
24"-28" / 61.0cm - 71.1cm
12"-24" / 30.5cm - 61.0cm
Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
White, Dark Green
Bedding Plant, Container, Edible, Herb / Vegetable, Mixed Border
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