I don't know a person who, seeing chard in someone else's garden, would not pay attention to it. Only a few daring gardeners grow it in their orchards.
Chard is a varietybeetroot
... According to the content of vitamins in leaves and petioles (C, B1, IN2, PP, as well as E and K) he surpasses his famous relative. They contain a lot of carotene - almost likecarrots
... Leaves and petioles contain valuable minerals - calcium, phosphorus, iron, sodium, as well as sugar, and they contain more proteins than spinach. These qualities were appreciated even by the ancient Romans, who were very fond of chard leaves soaked in wine with pepper. We do not know how to make this dish yet, in any case, hardly anyone has tried to make it.
Chard is a biennial plant. In our country, it does not always winter like that, so it is usually cultivated for one season. But even during this time, he manages to grow into a large plant and show all his beauty. The plant is prized for its long yield time.
After two months, and for the petiole form - three months after sowing, you can get a harvest, and then the collection of leaves and petioles goes until frost. In the fall, it can be spud and the useful life can be extended. Some gardeners manage, by covering rosettes without large leaves with spruce branches for the winter, to receive vitamin greens from overwintered plants in early spring.
Now on sale there are seeds of many varieties of Swiss chard. They differ in the thickness and color of the petioles, which are white, silver, yellow, orange, pink and red in many shades. Among them, you can choose leafy forms - with rather thin petioles and large leaves, and you can - petiolate - with thick fleshy petioles and very large leaves. Chard leaves are beautiful: they can be wavy, bubbly, even slightly corrugated. And the whole plant is beautiful: regal posture, splendor, bright color - all this makes chard very decorative and worthy to decorate not only the beds in the ornamental garden, but also flower beds in the garden. Mangold is the perfect combination of beauty and benefit.
In terms of biological properties, Swiss chard is close to table beet. The same, even more cold-resistant, the same light-loving, and it is grown in the same ways. It can be sown with seeds, or it can be grown through seedlings.
Sowing... In open ground, chard is sown with dry seeds in the first decade of May. They emerge already at a temperature of + 6 ... + 7 ° С. In the phase of 3-4 true leaves, plants endure short-term frosts down to -3 ° C. You can re-sow in mid-June. In this case, the seeds are already soaked before sowing in a pink solution of potassium permanganate for 1-2 hours or soaked for three days in water at room temperature until they hatch. The seeding depth is 2-3 cm.
You can grow Swiss chard through seedlings. Seeds are sown in a container with soil at the end of March -early April
... Seedlings usually appear in about 7-10 days. After that, they must be placed in a bright, cool place so that the plants do not stretch out. In the phase of the first true leaf, the strongestplants dive
... It is better not to use the weak ones further: they will not give a good harvest. Seedlings are planted in the ground in the second half of May, pre-hardened. You can land earlier, but you will have to shelter from strong night frosts if they happen.
Chardyou can sow before winter
- in October-November. Sometimes such an experiment gives a positive result.
The planting site should be sunny, open: plants like a lot of air, space, they should be permeated with light.
The soil should be loose, very well fertilized with organic matter. Only on rich soils can succulent leaves and petioles be grown. In addition to a bucket of organic matter, a spoonful of superphosphate and some kind of potash fertilizer are added to 1 square meter of the garden. Heavy soils are not suitable. Does not like chard of excess moisture and nearby groundwater. If you have such a situation, place chard on the ridges or
... Soil acidity - not lower than pH-6. On the poor andacidic soils
also something will grow, but the harvest will be tough and hardly edible.
Care... Plants require a lot of moisture during the growth period. That is why the most lush specimens grow with early sowing, when there is still a lot of moisture in the soil. Without sufficient moisture, the leaves and petioles are tasteless, with a bitter taste.
When the plants become crowded, they are thinned out. Leave the distance between them 25-50 cm, depending on the variety. For the largest plants, you can leave 60 cm. If you are sowing only a few copies of chard, then immediately leave this distance between the plants.
The best temperature for the growth and development of chard is + 16 ... + 20 ° С. He tolerates heat well. This plant responds well to feedingorganic fertilizers
, they must be alternated withmineral
- Azophos, Nitrofos, Kemira universal, as well as with trace elements - magnesium, boron, manganese. Top dressing works especially well in the first half of the growing season. Chard grows on well-filled soils without any additional fertilizing. The emerging flower stems must be removed.
Harvest... Petioles and leaves reach their largest size 2-3 months after sowing. Leaves can be cut off selectively, as needed, or can be cut completely, several times per season. New leaves grow back very quickly. The first cut is done when at least 5-7 leaves develop on the plant. It has been noticed: the more often we cut the leaves, the faster new ones grow. Of course, after each cut, the plants must be fed, preferably with organic fertilizers. The general rule is this: you need to cut off young leaves. The older they are, the rougher they are. The leaves must be cut off immediately before use, they are healthier than those lying on the kitchen table for even one hour. Leaves can stay in the refrigerator for up to two days, but also with a loss of biological activity.
In the fall, you can dig up plants, and, after removing old and large leaves, plant them in pots. Then you need to put the pots on the windowsill in the brightest place, not forgetting that with a lack of light, plants tend to accumulate nitrates. By driving out Swiss chard greens in winter, you will have a living dietary supplement to your daily food.
Read the next part. Chard Recipes →
Photo by the author
Chard is a subspecies of common beet and looks like beet tops. It is grown for the sake of obtaining fleshy tops and juicy stalks, which are not only edible, but also decorative.
@ Mike Peel, WikiMedia
Mangold is a close relative of beets, only the leaves and stems are not edible in it. The culture is valuable for a large amount of provitamin A and vitamin C, a lot of mineral and protein substances.
Early ripening and cold-resistant culture. It is a biennial, like table beet (in the first year, a rosette of leaves is formed, and in the second - a tall peduncle with nondescript inflorescences).
This is an unpretentious culture that tolerates cold weather very well. But in order not to risk it, it is better to cover it for the winter.
In terms of the content of vitamins, it significantly surpasses table beets, is a worthy competitor to white or Peking cabbage, spinach and celery. The plant contains a lot of vitamin K, in addition, vitamins A and E, as well as sodium, magnesium, potassium and iron.
With regular use of beetroot, the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases decreases, vision improves, the body is cleansed, bones and teeth are strengthened. It is a good prevention of diabetes, anemia and atherosclerosis.
However, you should not get carried away with chard - because of vitamin K, which in excess amounts leads to thickening of the blood, which increases the likelihood of blockage of vital vessels, as well as due to the content of oxalates - salts and ester compounds of oxalic acid, which interfere with the absorption of calcium and lead to the growth of kidney or gallstones.
Mangold high-yielding crop
Seedling care is loosening and daily watering in hot weather. In cloudy weather, seedlings are watered every other day.
Since the chard leaves are large and abundant, the plant needs to be fed every week. Top dressing can be different. For example, an egg shell infusion: the shell of 10 eggs is finely crushed, filled with 3 liters of hot water and insisted for 2-3 days. Other dressings are also possible: 1-2 tablespoons of wood ash or 1 teaspoon of nitrophoska or nitroammophoska per 3 liters of water.
If chard is grown "according to the rules", then from one square meter you can get up to 8 kg of harvest. But the selected variety plays an important role in this matter. And here you need to know what to choose from.
When choosing chard for your beds, first of all, you need to look at its resistance to flowering (the ability to release a peduncle in the first year). These varieties include "Pomegranate", "Bali", "Scarlet", "Soldier", "Mirage", "Rubarb", "Rubin7".
In addition, like other vegetable crops, chard varies in maturity. And here the early varieties ready for picking up in 33-45 days will be more interesting: "Bride", "Izumrud", "Bali", "Rubin", "Charlie", "Mirage".
And of course, in beauty, because it has so many different colors and forms of leaves.
Chard "Rubin" - from germination to the moment of economic validity 35-40 days. The petiole is red, 20-30 cm long. The leaf is green with pronounced red veins, medium bubbly. Resistant to flowers.
Mangold "Lucullus" - from germination to the moment of economic validity 35-40 days. The petiole is pale green, 25-30 cm long. The leaf is highly bubbly, green.
Chard "Mirage" - from germination to the moment of economic validity 40-45 days. The petiole is light green, 25 cm long. The leaves are slightly bubbly, large, oval-elongated, green in color. Resistant to flowers.
Mangold "Volcano" - from germination to the moment of economic validity 35-40 days. The petiole is bright red, 30-40 cm long. The leaf is dark green with red venation. Tastes like spinach.
Charlie Charlie - from germination to the moment of economic shelf life 45 days. The petiole is narrow, medium, red. The leaf is medium, glossy, green-red.
Chard "Pomegranate" - from germination to the moment of economic validity 30-40 days. The petiole is crimson-red. The leaf is bubbly, violet-green. Resistant to flowers.
Mangold "Soldier" - from germination to the moment of economic validity 35-40 days. The petiole is purple, narrow. The leaf is broadly oval, red, medium glossy. Resistant to flowers.
The main types are stem and leaf chard.
In the stem, the petioles are of great value, and in the leaf - the leaves, which grow back as the grown ones are cut. The leafy species is more productive, 1 bush gives up to 1 kg of leaves.
The most common varieties are presented below.
An early ripe variety, the first greens after germination can be cut after 55-65 days. The plant grows up to 60-70 cm in height, forms a lush rosette of green leaves with red veins and thick raspberry petioles.
Mid-season variety, the first greens after germination can be cut after 80-90 days. The plant forms large, fleshy leaves and bright red petioles.
An early ripe variety, the first greens after germination can be cut after 55-65 days. The plant grows up to 50-60 cm in height, forms large wavy leaves of dark green color and thick white juicy petioles with a piquant taste.
Hybrid resistant to flowering. Grows up to 70 cm in height. Forms a large rosette of leaves and petioles, white with a greenish tinge.
An early ripe variety, the first greens after germination can be cut after 60 days. The plant forms large green leaves 45 cm high and 27 cm long stalks.
Caring for this plant consists of inter-row loosening, weeding and timely watering.
Also Swiss chard is very fond of feeding. It is fertilized with solutions of cow dung (in a ratio of 1: 5), urea (2 tablespoons per bucket of water) or liquid herbal dressing.
In addition, you need to pay attention to the fact that the soil is not over-acidified, since in too acidic soil the plant will accumulate unnecessary amounts of nitrates. The ideal soil acidity (pH) is from 6.5 to 7.0.
A few weeks before sowing in early April, the soil must be fertilized with a complex mineral fertilizing: superphosphate - 30 g / sq. m, ammonium nitrate - 35 g / sq. m and potassium chloride - 40 g / sq. m.
You also need to know that chard is not planted in the place where cabbage, spinach, and beets grew before. In the same place, chard is grown no more than once every three years.
Chard leaves are cut separately from each of the middle of the rosette. For petioled chard, only petioles are used, but the leaves are still cut regularly, preventing them from growing large.