Chard or Swiss Chard as it is also referred to is perhaps the most colourful resident in my vegetable plot. The variety which I grow is called, "Bright Lights." and the midribs are variously pink, red ,yellow or green with innumerable variations of those colours. Some people think that this vegetable, (which is related to the beetroot), is so colourful that they plant it in their flower borders. Personally I prefer to keep the traditional division between vegetables and flowers, with vegetables in the vegetable patch and flowers in flower beds. That certainly was the view of the gardeners who passed on their tips and knowledge to a very keen schoolboy in the sixties when they were in their sixties. These were men who had spent their entire working lives working as gardeners, mostly at, "the big house." I can't imagine that my views will change now.
I sowed the seeds outside in mid April, planting the multigerm seeds approximately two inches apart. The seedling plants were subsequently thinned out to four inches apart. Whilst you can cut the entire plant for use it is more usual to just cut outer leaves so as to promote further growth. The green leaves can be used as "greens," whilst the midrib is used much as celery is. With a little protection the plants will survive the winter, but they will then bolt. I am just about to make a second sowing which should be fully mature come the spring and provide veg in the months of March to May when there tends to be a dearth of produce in the veg patch.