Chard, a unique inexperienced to develop right here | Gardening


During the 2020 pandemic winter, I spent a lot of time cooking – trying new recipes and searching mail order seed catalogs for ideas for my spring garden.

My husband and I tried our best to stay healthy, and I have learned a lot about how to nourish our aging bellies.

Of course, we all know (or should know) that chewing fresh, leafy green vegetables should be high in fiber. But how much lettuce and spinach can a person eat?

So in January I bought a bundle of Swiss chard at the supermarket. It was good. Delicious. Now I grow it in my vegetable garden at home.

Chard is a close relative of beets and not that difficult to grow provided you start with nutrient-rich, well-drained soil and a sunny spot.

As with other leafy vegetables, Swiss chard should be watered regularly to prevent it from “shooting”. The term shot means that the plant moves towards flowering and seed production and stops producing tender leaves. Once a plant is screwed in, it’s time to remove it and put something new in.

Chard seedlings can be transplanted – either indoors or purchased – that are already growing in small plastic cell packs in local greenhouses. Or the gnarled seeds can be sown directly into the ground in a row of gardens.

If you decide to buy vegetable starts, look out for “root-bound” plants.

It may be that the seedlings have been in these narrow spaces for too long and the roots are matted and tightly tangled. The roots have started to grow around and around or even poke through the drainage holes.

Swiss chard is often referred to as “Swiss chard”, although if anyone is interested, that is misleading. Swiss chard does not come from Switzerland at all. According to legend, a Swiss botanist was responsible for determining the scientific name of the Swiss chard and the “Swiss” simply stuck.

Last week I felt fine when I got out and started my vegetable garden. I planted onions, coriander, spinach, lettuce and of course Swiss chard. My soil was loose and damp and the afternoon was beautiful. But only an hour after I had put the seeds in the ground and watered them, a bull elk came up and walked through the middle of the garden, devastating my freshly sown rows and leaving large craters in its hoof prints. Then he did it again.

What can I say? Gardening in Jackson Hole.