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Bright Lights Swiss Chard Seeds


Bright Lights Swiss Chard Seeds

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Product Description

Beta vulgaris, vulgaris group
Item #V-2136 | 100 Seeds
   aaslogo.jpg AAS Winner. Bright Lights Mix contains some of the most intense colors of chard that we have ever seen. The 21-26 in. plants produce eye-appealing stalk colors of deep gold, snow white, deep red and magenta, all with shiny, medium-green colored leaves. The leaf textures range from smooth to lightly crumpled at the young stage, to lightly crumpled to crumpled at the mature stage. The stalks are broad, very tender and fleshy, even at full maturity. A great item for adding color to salad mixes or to harvest young and sell as baby chard. 60 Days. A close relative of the beet family, chard is another nutritious "green" vegetable. It is valued for the green leaves and stalks it produces, and does not produce a root as beets do. It was first cultivated in the Mediterranean Region, and remains very popular there.  100 seeds per pkg.

Vegetable Garden - -Tips on Growing Swiss Chard From Seeds

Days to Maturity: 50-60

    • Chard thrives well on any soil where lettuce and spinach will grow.
    • Once the soil can be worked on after the last  frost (April - May), plant the seeds directly in the ground, 1/2 to 1 inch deep.
    • Space the seeds 4 to 6 inches apart.
    • Water frequently.
    • Like other leafy vegetables, chard leaves are easily attacked by pests.
    • Remove and destroy affected leaves at once so the problem does not spread.
    • Chard can grow 1-1/2 to 2 feet tall with crinkled leaves that have prominent central ribs.
    • Pick the leaves while they are young and tender. Remove the outer leaves without first. Cut or pull the leaves at the base of the plant by pulling downwards and twisting them off. Leave the inner leaves to grow to harvest on a later date.
    • Discard any old leaves. They will decrease production if left on the plant.
    • Unlike most vegetables, Swiss chard can tolerate a little shade and won’t get bitter in hot weather.

Swiss Chard Bright Lights was an All America Selections winner in 1998.

When to plant outside: RECOMMENDED.

  • Early spring, 2-4 weeks before the average last frost date or when soil temperature reaches 50 degrees.
  • A spring planting will go on producing through spring, summer, and fall until a hard freeze kills it.

USDA Hardiness Zone -First Frost Date- Last Frost Date

  • Zone 1  -July 15th -June 15th
  • Zone 2  -August 15th- May 15th
  • Zone 3  -September 15th May 15th
  • Zone 4  -September 15th May 15th
  • Zone 5  -October 15th April 15th
  • Zone 6  -October 15th April 15th
  • Zone 7  -October 15th April 15th
  • Zone 8  -November 15th March 15th
  • Zone 9  -December 15th February 15th
  • Zone 10 -December 15th January 31st (sometimes earlier)
  • Zone 11 -No frost. No frost.

When to start inside: Not recommended.

Special Sowing & Germination Instructions:

  • Soak seeds in water for 24 hours before planting.
  • Chard seed is actually a dried fruit with 1-5 seeds in each fruit. Therefore, thinning instructions are very important.
  • Plant seed ½” deep and 2” apart. If several seedlings emerge from 1 fruit in the same spot, immediately thin to 1 seedling per 2”.
  • After 3-4 weeks, thin to 1 seedling per 8”.
  • Thinned seedlings can be used in that evening’s salad.
  • Do not allow a crust to build up on the soil surface which will cause seedlings to struggle to come up.
  • Cultivate lightly and mulch the soil surface when seedlings are 2” high.

Colorful stems and bright green leaves make Swiss chard the single most glamorous garden green as well as a nutritious vegetable. Because it does not ship well, you are not likely to find it at the grocery store. The only way to have beautiful leaves like these is to grow your own. Fortunately, it is easy to grow in the ground or in containers and is one of the few greens that tolerates both cool weather and heat. It will linger in the spring garden much longer than mustard, turnips, arugula, or other greens that bolt in spring. In the fall, it grows well until killed by a hard freeze.

Garden Hints:

  • Swiss chard grows best in rich, moist soil with a pH between 6.0 and 6.8.
  • Plant in fertile soil as you want the plants to grow fast so they will produce tender leaves.
  • Work nitrogen-rich amendments such as blood meal, cottonseed meal, feather meal, or composted manure into the ground before planting. Or, apply a timed-release vegetable food such as 14-14-14 according to label directions.
  • Space transplants about a foot apart. After planting, water the transplants well and apply a liquid starter fertilizer.

To be sure about pH, test the soil with a pH meter. Apply fertilizer and lime using the results of the soil test as a guide.

  • Soil pH is a measurement of the number of Hydrogen ions present in the soil solution along with as the acidity of the soil. When the soil pH is too acidic the nutrients that are present in the soil become locked-up or unavailable (low pH) or alkaline (high pH).
  • Correcting the pH has the same effect as applying fertilizer as it unlocks plant nutrients already present.
  • In the garden some garden plants thrive in acidic soils while others prefer an alkaline soil.
  • The acidity or alkalinity of soil is a measurement by pH (potential Hydrogen ions). pH is a way to measure the amount of lime (calcium) contained in your soil, and the type of soil that you have.

To Measure Soil pH

It is recommended that you use a relatively inexpensive, and follow the manufacturers instructions when testing the pH Level of your Gardens soil. To raise or lower the pH level in the soil either Limestone or Sulfur is utilized. Other materials will accomplish the same results; however the two that are listed are the most commonly used.

Limestone is added to the soil to raise the pH level because limestone is essentially calcium and calcium reacts with water in the soil to yield hydroxyl ions .. a process known as, hydrolysis = thus the pH level in the soil is raised.

Sulfur reacts with bacteria in the soil and produces sulfuric acid, which releases hydrogen ions thus causing the soil to become more acidic =the pH level is lowered.

Application Of Lime (To Raise Soil pH)

To increase your pH by 1.0 point and make your soil more alkaline.

  • Add 4 ounces of hydrated lime per square yard in sandy soils
  • Add 8 ounces of hydrated lime per square yard in loamy soils
  • Add 12 ounces of hydrated lime per square yard in clay soils
  • Add 25 ounces of hydrated lime per square yard in peaty soils
  • The addition of ash, bone meal, or crushed oyster shells will also help to raise soil pH levels.

Application of Sulfur (To Lower Soil pH)

If your soil needs to be more acidic, sulfur will lower the pH if it is available.

To reduce the soil pH by 1.0 point

  • Mix in 1.2 oz of ground rock sulfur per square yard if the soil is sandy
  • Mix in 3.6 oz per square yard for all other soils.
  • Composted leaves, wood chips, sawdust, leaf mold and peat moss, will also help to lower the soil pH.

Like all vegetables, Swiss chard does best with a nice, even supply of water. Water regularly, applying 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week if it does not rain. You can measure the amount of water with a rain gauge in the garden. Mulch with compost, finely ground leaves, wheat straw, or finely ground bark to keep the soil cool and moist and to keep down weeds. Mulching will also help keep the leaves clean.

Do water regularly, especially in summer, as drought-stressed plants may bolt, or flower. Leaves are the sweetest and most tender in the cool of early spring and fall. You can begin harvesting outer leaves anytime that they are large enough to eat; young tender leaves are the most flavorful and make a colorful addition to salads. If picked 1 or 2 leaves at a time, a spring planting of 6 to 12 plants will yield plenty of leaves into winter. Cut out the midrib of larger leaves before cooking or chopping into salads. Chop large leaves to cook down like spinach or in casseroles, soups, and pasta.

In areas that never experience a hard freeze, Swiss chard sometimes behaves like a perennial, living for several years. When it blooms, you can cut off the bloom stalk and it will produce more leaves. Whole harvested leaves will keep in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks in a loose plastic bag or sealed container. Plants are generally problem free but may be attacked by aphids, mites, and caterpillars that chew holes in the leaves. Swiss chard is also subject to cercospora leaf spot, a disease that disfigures the leaves with ash-gray spots that have purple edges; or leaves may get downy mildew, which causes a mildew-like growth on the foliage.

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