Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
James H. Schutte
BETA vulgaris ssp. cicla 'Monstruoso'
Grown for its large, tender, delectable leaf stalks, the large Swiss chard, 'Monstruoso', has white stems and enormous glossy green leaves with a crumpled or quilted texture. The cold hardy plants are vigorous producers. Harvest can begin 65 days after seeding and leaves gathered all season long, though they taste best in spring and fall when days are cool and nights chilly. Harvest healthy, mature leaves by cutting them cleanly at the base. These have a short shelf life, so eat them quickly!
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 pulled in the first year, plants will produce spikes of unimpressive flowers in 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.
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
1'-2' / 0.3m - 0.6m
12"-24" / 30.5cm - 61.0cm
Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Edible, Herb / Vegetable
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