About Perpetual Spinach Posted on 15 Oct 07:57 , 2 comments

If you're like me and you're looking to add a few more varieties to your garden that will produce for more than a season, Perpetual Spinach is a fantastic option!

Perpetual spinach is actually a swiss chard variety but looks and tastes more like spinach.

From seed, Perpetual Spinach is usually producing by 50 days.  I've had quite a few swiss chard varieties continue to produce for over 9 months so they're well worth the moderate amount of space they use in the garden.  Perpetual Spinach is a great container variety as well.

From Mary's Heirloom Seeds

50 days. European heirloom dating back to the 1860s. Belongs to the same species as chard and beets, but it has distinctive differences.

The taste is more like a true spinach than ordinary chard, and the leaves look like spinach too.  Pertetual Spinach leaves are flatter and more pointed than chard, with slimmer stems.

An excellent no-fuss warm weather substitute for spinach in the Southeast.


From Mary's Blog, Growing Swiss Chard from Seed to Harvest

Tip: Soak seeds overnight in water before planting to ensure strong germination.

Plant seeds 1/4 - 1/2 inch deep and 3-6 inches apart. Set out seedlings 8-12 inches apart. Indoors or out, thin newly germinated seedlings with cuticle scissors instead of pulling them out. Chard seed capsules often contain two or more seeds. If more than one germinates snip off all but the strongest sprout at the soil line. Gradually thin direct-sown seedlings to 8-12 inches apart.

Harvest individual leaves from the outer area but be sure to leave the crown intact.

Frequent picking helps to stimulate the production of new leaves. Rinse leaves with cool water immediately, shake off the excess moisture, and store in plastic bags in the refrigerator for up to four days.

Swiss Chard is not only heat tolerant, depending on your area, it is also a cool weather crop.  I have had several varieties withstand several days of frost and survive. 

Companion Plants for Swiss Chard:

Bean, cabbage family, tomato, onion and roses. Don't overlook chard's value as an ornamental plant in flower beds or wherever you have room for it. Don't grow chard near cucurbits, melons, corn or herbs.






If you have additional questions please send an email to

Happy Planting!

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About SWISS CHARD Posted on 19 Dec 07:54 , 0 comments

How did you like All About KALE?  Many of you gardeners have your gardens already put to bed.  If you're in a warmer climate, you might be able to grow year round.  Swiss Chard is an excellent addition to any garden and grows well in warmer and cooler conditions.

I love growing SWISS CHARD in my garden.  Chard is one of the easiest and fastest growing greens in my garden and even grows well in containers!

From WHF, "Chard is a tall leafy green vegetable commonly referred to as Swiss chard and scientifically known as Beta vulgaris. Chard belongs to the same family as beets and spinach and shares a similar taste profile with a flavor that is bitter, pungent, and slightly salty. Swiss chard is truly one of the vegetable valedictorians with its exceptionally impressive list of health-promoting nutrients. Although Swiss chard is available throughout the year, its peak season runs from June through August when it is at its best and in the greatest abundance at your local supermarket" 

Also from WHF,
"As a rule, the phytonutrient antioxidants in chard also act as anti-inflammatory agents. Sometimes they lower risk of chronic, unwanted inflammation by altering the activity of pro-inflammatory enzymes"

"With its very good supply of calcium and its excellent supply of magnesium and vitamin K, chard provides standout bone support."

"Multiple studies on animals have shown that chard has unique benefits for blood sugar regulation. In addition, chard may provide special benefits in the diets of individuals diagnosed with diabetes"

"Also unique among the health benefits from this chenopod vegetable has been its ability to help pancreatic cells regenerate."

At Mary's Heirloom Seeds we offer several varieties of Swiss Chard.

 50-60 days. (Beta vulgaris) This chard originated in Australia. A beautiful chard; its colors are brilliant 
(pink, yellow, orange, red and white).  Very mild ornamental. Pretty enough to plant in the flower garden;  so delicious!

60 days. Succulent celery-like stalks support large, dark green, very savoyed, fleshy leaves.
Trim outer leaves or cut the entire head.  Great for salads, casseroles or sauteed.

 60 days. Named after the beautiful golden Oriole bird, this is a lovely orange chard that will add fantastic color your garden.
Use the young leaves in salads or the mature leaves stir fried or as steamed greens.
This chard is heat and cold tolerance and has a sweet mild taste.
 60 days. An outstanding chard that has magnificent red stems that extend into bright green leaves forming one of nature's amazing works of art.
This tasty, low in oxalic acid heirloom chard will add color to any dish.  Grows 18-24" tall.  Yields all summer and into the fall.

60 days.  Very attractive and uniform red chard. A wonderful, prolific and hardy variety, this chard has great flavor and is perfect for marketing.  Trim outer leaves or cut the entire head.  Great for salads, casseroles or sauteed.

For growing information, read my article Growing Salad Greens from Seed

Thanks for stopping by my little spot on the web...Stay tuned for more organic gardening and health related topics.  If you have questions or suggestions please feel free to ask.