The diary of two novice gardeners and allotmenteers

Chris and Steve's Weblog – City Chickens

Tag Archive: chard

Swiss Chard

We went to the allotment today and did a bit more tidying up. I was pleased to see three good roots of Swiss Chard just waiting to be picked for dinner. We also brought home a couple of leeks just to check on the quality really as they had been growing over the winter. They were brilliant and are now cut up and in the freezer and we are planning to harvest the rest of the crop and clear the bed for new planting. I came home a bit more optimistic about keeping the allotment plot. I had a load of wood chip dropped and Rob has tidied a few beds and covered them with manure and woodchip giving the whole place a visual lift. We have also  cleared the site of bits of plastic and empty bags that had been blown about after storm Doris. Back at home we put a bag of manure on the side garden plus two bags of wood chip. It is almost built up to the right level now another five bags should do it. Laura came home with a wooden raised bed knocked together by a friend of Bryans at his allotment site. We have painted it with green preservative and put it ready to be filled with soil and planted up.

Swiss Chard – Bright Lights

swiss chardI have sown a tray of Swiss Chard today. Mostly Bright Lights, the colourful mix, with a couple of the green ones thrown in. I have grown them before and have learned by my previous mistakes. Leave plenty of space in between when you put them outside as the final plant is quite large and stays in the ground a long time. They form a deep tap root and don’t transplant too well. One large plant is enough really as you can keep on cutting what you want and it will keep growing. A bit like Rhubarb. It does not originate from Switzerland but is a Mediterranean plant first discovered by a Swiss man. It is a member of the beet group and is used like Spinach. The leaves can be harvested young for use in salads or left to grow larger for cooking. The main attraction are the stems which grow in colours from dark red to orange.

Easter Sunday

“If you want your life to be a magnificent story, then begin by realizing that you are the author and everyday you have the opportunity to write a new page” — Mark Houlahan

RosevalIt’s Easter Sunday and we had an early start and a fine day. The allotments were busy and Rob made a start by planting the next potatoes. They were Roseval, a second early, small red skinned salad variety. The tubers are long oval, very red and smooth. The flesh is yellow but can have an attractive pink blush. Cooking quality and flavour are said to be excellent. We are looking forward to striking foliage with ruby red stems. Roseval is popular in France but rare in the UK. I went over and pinched a couple to put in a big terracotta pot at the edge of the nursery bed.

 

rainbow chardspinach matador

I dug over one of the salad beds and sowed a row of Rainbow Chard, Bright Lights, a row of Swiss Chard, Lucullus and a row of Spinach Matador. I covered them with a plastic cloche for a bit of warmth to help germination. Rob laid a path alongside the nursery bed with some concrete blocks Frank had given us. Then after weeding the fruit beds he cut a pointed cabbage for tonights meal and we went home for a well earned rest.