'Bright Lights' Swiss Chard

comments (2) October 18th, 2010

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ChrisMcLaughlin Chris McLaughlin, contributor
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Bright Lights Swiss chard is simple to grow and a show-stopper in the winter garden.
 
Photo by eflon under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0.Click To Enlarge

'Bright Lights' Swiss chard is simple to grow and a show-stopper in the winter garden.

 

Photo by eflon under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0.


I know, I know who hasn't grown 'Bright Lights' Swiss Chard, am I right? I'm usually such an adventuress and can't get enough of trying veggie varieties that I have yet to grow. But Bright Lights is such a vibrant and grand performer in the home garden! Right down to her show girl colors of red, orange, gold, pink, purple, yellow and cream - And all things in-between. I also consider it an ornamental, as this is one vegetable that glows in the winter garden.

'Golden Sunrise' is another eye-catcher with its gorgeous orange-gold veins. If you love sexy, bright red, 'Charlotte' may be the one to try. If you've never grown a winter garden, please try your hand at growing Swiss chard. It's one of the easiest and most rewarding leafy greens.

Swiss chard or Silverbeet is (obviously) a cool-season vegetable that likes to be planted in full sun. Like most veggies, it's happiest in well-drained soil and likes it fertile - so pile on the compost. I've hear that many gardeners will fertilize them a couple of times during the growing season, but I never seem to get around to that in my winter garden.

If I actually think about it this time around, I'll just brew up some manure tea. If you don't think you'll even get around to picking up some manure to brew (and you don't have access to rabbit manure) then just order yourself some moo poo tea bags. Pre-packaged tea bags make adding organic fertilizer just about as simple as it gets.

When the chard reaches about 1 - 1 1/2 feet tall, you can cut off some of the outer leaves for the dinner table. The new leaves in the center will mature and you'll be able to continue harvesting. If your Swiss chard ends up calling in all the snails in your neighborhood, just toss some Sluggo out there. But, if your winter garden is under row covers, you might escape this problem all together.


posted in: winter garden, bright lights swiss chard

Comments (2)

WinstonParks writes: Its really awesome
Posted: 1:33 am on March 3rd
Loosiana writes: YUM! Anything that looks so good, has to be great to eat! Amazingly, this was one of the only 3 vegies I could get my carnivorous son to eat (the others of course were french fries and tomato sauce), in that glorious flaky-crusty-cheesy Greek fillo-and-feta classic, spanakopita.

I've planted some recently, and though it's a cool weather crop, our current antarctic spring conditions are making it sulk somewhat, especially the red ones. Plants with that gorgeous colour take a bit longer to grow than their green counterparts. It's a chlorophyll thing. But surely warmer days will eventually arrive, as usual my beauties will all soar to sturdy, voluptuously rumpled heights, and I will wonder why I ever imagined I needed more than a single plant! Must get some tame bunnies to gnaw the inevitable surplus.

We call it Rainbow Chard down here in the Antipodes. All the individual colours have seductive official names too - Ruby Red chard, Cardinal (deep vermilion), Canary (yellow), Flamingo (that obscenely dayglo pink!) How could I bear not to grow flamboyant flamingoes, canaries and rubies in my reborn garden?
Posted: 2:33 am on October 19th
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