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Swiss chard is a very good alternative to ordinary spinach. It is less prone to bolting. If you sow it from mid-spring you can start picking in summer. It will overwinter to provide leaves during milder weather in winter and crops really well from spring to early summer. It can also be sown in mid or late summer. Gardeners sometimes call it seakale beet. The broad, white midribs can be steamed and eaten separately from the bright green, wrinkled and deeply veined leaves.
Species: vulgaris cicla group
Plant type: Vegetable
Foliage colour: Dark green
Feature: Dramatic foliage
Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade
Soil: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Acidic, Chalky/alkaline
Hardiness: Half hardy
Skill level: Beginner
Time to plant seeds: April to May
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