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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Growing and Eating Alfalfa Sprouts

Alfalfa sprouts are a good addition to a healthy diet and they aren’t hard to grow, even for people who live in apartments. They have a slightly nutty flavor that is great in green salads and on meat sandwiches. Alfalfa sprouts even have medicinal uses, as can be figured out from the scientific name, Medicago sativa. Alfalfa is often called lucerne in many parts of the world outside of the US. Alfalfa origins A large amount of alfalfa is grown in the US and elsewhere, however the plant originated in Persia. Currently, alfalfa is primarily used as high-protein hay for horses, cattle and similar animals. The leaves make a very good and agreeable tea, however. A description of the plant will be forgone since the object here is the growing and eating of the sprouts. It is useful, however, to know that alfalfa is a legume, just as garden peas and clover are. Alfalfa is also a perennial. Sprouting Alfalfa To sprout alfalfa, all you need is the alfalfa seeds, a quart canning jar with a ring, some cheesecloth or similar fine fabric and water. Put a cup of water that is at room temperature into the jar. Add two tablespoons of alfalfa seeds into the jar and let the jar sit overnight. Drain out the water through a filter or some of the fine cloth. The seeds can be swished around in the jar while draining because it is great if they stick to the sides of the jar, Continue Reading →

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