Har­vest chard and spinach

Amateur Gardening - - Your Gardening Week -

If you fancy a break from cab­bages and Brus­sels sprouts, then let these two leaves step up. ro­bust, vig­or­ous and trou­ble-free, they stand to at­ten­tion on the plot right through the colder months to give pick­ings at a time when other pro­duce is scarce.

I sowed this bed of spinach and ‘ruby’ Swiss chard back in au­gust, know­ing they plants would reach a good size by early Oc­to­ber.

af­ter this point growth pretty much slows to a halt but, with both crops be­ing fully hardy, they hap­pily sit tight till april. as the spring warms these crops start to de­velop flower spikes (known as ‘bolt­ing’). It’s at that point when the rows then get pulled up for the com­post heap – but in the mean­time they’ve given me har­vests from Septem­ber till april.

Hav­ing no­ticed that the ‘ruby’ chard is suf­fer­ing from pow­dery mildew, I’ve found a re­sis­tant va­ri­ety called ‘fan­tasy’ that I’ll grow next year. The spinach va­ri­ety I sow is ‘Per­pet­ual’ which is in­cred­i­bly ro­bust. You can also sow an­nual spinach, which is hardy but lower-yield­ing.

They will give good pick­ings when other pro­duce is scarce

Swiss chard ‘Fan­tasy’

pow­dery mildew

spinach per­pet­ual

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