Forum home Fruit & veg

Swiss chard

Last year I grew swiss chard, it grew and grew and we were eating it for months. I thought it would eventually die back over the winter but despite the recent snow it is still looking very much alive and producing small stubby leaves from the base. What should I do with it? Leave it to do its own thing? Pull it up?


  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    Leave it-carry on pulling-I had one of these once- it didn't survive the winterimage

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 23,817

    If it behaves anything like perpetual spinach (a relation) it will carry on until spring then it will produce long tough stalks and go to seed so you dig it up.

    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,874

    Keep picking and eating while it's edible - when it goes to seed dig it up and sow some more - wonderful stuff.image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • I agree Dove - still picking mine ! image

  • Sorry forgott to say I grow Bright Lights for the loevely, different colour stems. I tend to steam the stems and cook the leaf as I do spinach

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,874

    Yes, I've got a row of Ruby chard I sowed last summer - we've been picking through the winter and it's surved the snow and new shoots are appearing now.

     I've got two other rows, one of the multi-coloured and one of the more ordinary Lucullus,; I sowed them in the autumn and they've been under a mini poly-tunnel.  They'll be ready to use in the spring image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Mine got eaten by a passing deer... but hopeful this haircut will encourage it to be even more productive and bushy.

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,731

    Mine comes back after winter every year but bolts as soon as it warms up. I grow from seed and have replacement plants ready.

  • I just bought seeds but haven't grown it before, should you stagger planting? How many would you plant at one time?
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,874

    I sow mine direct in the veg patch in rows 10 ft long and thin them to about 8" apart and one row provides the two of us with at least one meal a week throughout late summer and autumn with the occasional picking later through the winter depending on the weather.

     My second sowing didn't do well over the winter - I think  they'd have probably done better without the mini-polytunnel protection.   The first sowing stood up to the snow perfectly well and we're still picking it, but as Italophile says, when the weather warms up it'll run to seed and I'll pull it up.

    I'll sow another row as soon as the soil conditions improve.image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

Sign In or Register to comment.