Chard is a leafy green that produces white, yellow or red leaf stalks. While vegetable gardeners grow them as a food crop high in vitamins and minerals, gardeners around Chicago have long used it as an ornamental plant that adds color to the vegetable and container garden.
Chard is actually a beet that has been selected for leaf production. The flowers are hermaphrodite, both have male and female organs. There's nothing "Swiss" about its origins, it seems seeds merchants called it Swiss Chard to differentiate it from French Spinach.
Grown in China in the 7th century and has been traced to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
Where to Grow
Plant seeds 1/2 to 3/4 inches deep in fertile soil after danger of last frost. Chard seedlings should be thinned to 4-6 inches apart for "greens" and final spacing of 12-18 inches for mature plants.
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