Pink Passion Chard
67 days. Vivacious fuchsia stems contrast with forest green leaves to add a fabulous flash of color to your garden! While we chose to test this variety because of its stunning appearance, we knew we had to offer this seed when we tasted the smooth, tender leaves. We think that chard is underappreciated – it is so easy to grow and is a great summer substitute for spinach! Pick the leaves young to use raw on sandwiches and in salads, or harvest full-sized for cooking. Pink Passion plants grow upright, with stems that are narrower than Fordhook Giant. There is some natural variability in color and shape in Pink Passion, so you may be gifted with an unexpected white plant if you grow a large enough patch. Add Pink Passion Swiss Chard to window boxes or flower pots for an edible and attractive addition to your landscape! WGS
[[end tab]] [[start tab]]
Growing Instructions (for USDA Zone 5b):
Pink Passion Chard is an easy to grow and versatile crop. For an early harvest, start seeds indoors 3/15 (at 80°). Once leaves appear, grow plants at 72°. Transplant outside 5/1, 6-8” apart in rows 20” apart. Or, sow chard seeds outside anytime 5/15 – 8/1. Sow seeds ½” deep, 3” apart in rows 20” apart. Keep seeds consistently moist until germination. Days to germination: 5-7. Thin plants to 6-8” apart. Chard can also be grown for baby greens – broadcast sow seeds 5/1 – 8/1. Protect chard plants from deer and groundhogs who love them. Keep chard plants watered throughout the summer. Plants are cool weather hardy and can be harvested into the fall.
Mature Plants: Harvest individual leaves with pruners or a knife as plant matures. Do not take more than 1/3 of the leaves at any one time. Baby Leaves: Cut entire plant with scissors 1-2” above soil level so that you don’t damage the growing crown. Plants will regrow.
Seed Saving Instructions (for gardeners):
Chard is a fairly difficult seed saving crop in northern climates because it is a biennial so plants need to survive the winter (in a root cellar, refridgerator, or other similar environment) in order to flower in year two. Dig plants in fall, select best plants for the seed crop, trim off leaves, and store in moist sand or sawdust at 34-40° 95% humidity. Plant outside 5/1, 30” apart and they will flower and produce seed over the summer. Chards are wind pollinated and cross-pollinated crops (isolation distance from beets is 1-2 miles). But since beets & chard don’t normally overwinter and flower in a cold climate, you won’t usually need to worry about crossing unless 1) neighbors are saving beet/chard seeds or 2) you live near sugar beet fields which are usually GMO (sometimes sugar beet plants will bolt). Minimum population size: 25 plants.