How to Plant a Robust Chard Crop from Seed

Swiss chard is a vegetable that isn’t hard to grow and to many people, the leaves are superior to spinach in flavor. Chard is also higher in minerals and vitamins than spinach. This is also true of beet root, because beets and chard are the same species of plant; Beta vulgaris. Chard is quite high in vitamins K, A, E and C and is a very good source of magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, iron and calcium. It is high in fiber, as well. It is great for dieters, too. A cup of boiled chard contains only 35 calories. Here is how you can have a robust chard crop, starting with seeds. Getting started Chard is considered to be a cool weather crop, but don’t let this fool you. This vegetable is frost hardy, however it tolerates hot weather, as long as it gets plenty of water and the soil drains well. Chard will even grow in partial shade, although it loves sunshine. In fact, in summertime heat, it does well if it is shaded from the afternoon sun. For instance, it can be planted on the east side of taller vegetables, such as corn or zucchini. By the time the corn or zucchini is tall enough, the heat of the summer becomes an issue and those plants give the chard a sun screen against the afternoon sun. When to plant chard Since chard is frost tolerant, the seeds can be planted two or three weeks before the last frost. There Continue Reading →

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Comparing Beets, Sweet Potatoes and Yams

While these are all root crops, these are all different plants. However, there can be some confusion about them, especially since the common name in one English-speaking country might not be the same as in another. For example, in the United States, ‘beets’ are usually a reference to the large, globular and usually deep red root that are often called ‘beetroot’ in the UK. It might be worthwhile to look at all three, noting how they are similar and how they differ. Beets (Beta vulgaris) Beets or beetroots are vegetables that have a large, bulb-shaped root. The root is normally shaped like the root of a radish or turnip, but the most commonly used cultivar is colored deep red, all the way through. There are cultivars that range from golden to purple and black in color, but these aren’t nearly as popular as the ones that are dark crimson. Beets are naturally high in sugar. It should be noted that one kind of beet is called the sugar-beet. While this is the same species, sugar beets have been specifically been bred to produce a root that is very high in sugar. Sugar beets aren’t commonly grown as food, but the roots are refined and refined sugar is made from them. Much of the refined sugar sold in many countries comes from sugar beets or a blend of sugar beet sugar and sugar cane sugar. The color of sugar beets usually isn’t the deep red of beetroot that is consumed as Continue Reading →

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