Chard - Orange Fantasia

Avg seeds/pkt 50

First surprise: orange fantasia holds it’s hue after cooking. Second: it has a lot of magnesium, a key mineral that is finally getting its due. Third: when cooked, larger leaves are less bitter than small leaves. Not that bitter is bad, but it’s usually the other way around. With chard you can start early, leave it for last, harvest it all, and plant another round in mid-Summer for a Fall harvest.

Chard is a cool weather crop which does well in partial shade and fertile, moist, well-drained soil full of organic matter. Sow outdoors 3 weeks before your average last frost date, or when soil temps are at least 50°F.

Plant seeds 1 inch deep and 12 inches apart with 24 inches between rows. Seedlings emerge in 7–20 days, in clusters. Mulch well and water when soil feels dry to the touch an inch below the surface. After a month, thin clusters by snipping all but 1 plant.

Side dress plants every couple of weeks with a balanced, granular fertilizer or compost. Leaves will reach maturity in 60 days but you can start picking that bitter baby chard whenever you like. It’s good for you either way.

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