Chard is a delicious, leafy green vegetable with brightly coloured leaf stalks popular in Mediterranean cuisine, and Italian food. Chard is easy to grow and can be harvested all year round. In this article, we will share how to grow chard, the nutrients, and health benefits that can be gained from eating them.
Varieties Of Chard
There are many varieties of chard. You’ll find chard with green, or purple leaves and types with red, yellow, white, orange, purple, gold, green, and striped stalks. There are some with more crumpled, softer, tender, thicker smaller, bigger, more resistant leaves compared to others. Here are some of our recommended picks to choose from: ‘Bright Lights’, ‘Lucullus’, ‘Rhubarb’, and ‘orange fantasia’.
How To Grow Chard
Sow chard seeds outdoors from early spring-late summer. Sow 2.5cm(1in) deep, 10cm(4in) apart in slightly acidic well-drained, moisture-retentive, rich, organic soil with a pH of 6.0-6.8. Grow in a sunny site, although it can tolerate some shade. Thin successful seedlings to 20-30cm(8-18in) apart.
Chard grows well in the cooler time of the year, so repeat this process again in Autumn if you want to harvest all year round. Chard can grow over winter, but make sure to cover the plants in October with clothes or fleece to protect the plant. Water regularly, and keep soil evenly moist. Fertiliser is optional, but if you want the best results, feed with a general fertiliser.
Nutrients And Health Benefits
Chard is packed with many nutrients containing vitamins A, C, E, and K. Minerals- calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, iron, potassium, and fiber. They also contain 3.3 grams of protein, 7 grams of carbs, and 35 calories per 175 grams of chard. In addition, chard contains disease-fighting antioxidants, can benefit heart health, may decrease insulin resistance, and lower blood sugar, and may promote weight loss.
How To Add To Your Diet
Chard is easy to add to your diet, use it in soups and stews, scrambled eggs, greens salads, smoothies, and milkshakes, bake into chips, add to pestos, sandwiches, rolls, and wraps, etc. Chard Sautéed with garlic and olive oil makes a tasty side dish.