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Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris subsp. Vulgaris) has experienced a comeback in German gardens in recent years - quite rightly.
Swiss chard is one of the old vegetables that have been forgotten for some time and today are consumed again with the greatest pleasure. Anyone who has already tasted chard, understands that quickly, not only in the usual spinach-like preparation, he tastes really delicate. There are also exceptional recipes that many gourmets love. B. Mandoldrouladen with minced meat filling or with a filling, as known from stuffed vine leaves. The cultivation of its own chard is also a problem for new gardeners:
Basic to Swiss chard in the garden
First you have to decide which chard you want to grow. There are cut mangold and stalk mangold. And that also in many different varieties, the leaf mangold (Schnittmangold) for example, "green cut", the stalk mangold "smooth silver", "Walliser" (quite frost-resistant), "Feurio" or "volcano" hot, according to the name Last mentioned red stems.
Or you choose the variety "Lucullus", which not only grows very well, but with its delicate leaves and broad petioles can be used as leaf mangold and as a stemmed mangold.
Swiss Chard: Find the right location
Then the chard is an eye for the location recommended, he is a foxtail plant as well as the spinach, he is even more closely related to sugar beet, fodder beet and beetroot. As a result, he does not want to be grown after all these vegetables and he does not want to have them in the neighborhood, so even when it comes to plants, it does not always seem to be good for relatives to contract too closely.
Joking aside, the reason is scientifically called allelopathy. This branch of chemical ecology deals with the interactions between plants of the same or different species and with each other and with certain microorganisms or fungi. Between these organisms so-called allelochemicals migrate back and forth, self-produced or released during decay chemical compounds that develop effects in the receiving organism.
This can be negative effects, the allelopathic effect of the walnut tree simply inhibits the germination of other plants around it, spinach and mangold does not thrive. However, positive, promoting effects in the neighboring organism can also be triggered. Perhaps that is the reason why it is recommended to add bushes, cabbage, radishes, radishes, legumes or carrots in addition to Swiss chard.
Mangold wants to be set as a deep root in a profound humus rich soil, which was granted a composting before sowing. The individual varieties are in different need of heat, therefore, the sowing takes place from the beginning of May. If possible in sunny to partially shaded position and in a protected location. If the young plant has to endure too low temperatures, it tends to shoot (so in inhospitable situations, you should better wait for the ice saints!).
- Swiss chard seeds consist of a kind of tangle, each of which contains some seeds and produces several small plants. Of these seedlings, only one or two plants per sowing point are allowed to stand - if you would like to achieve self-sufficiency with chard vegetables, you should plan for three to five chard heads for each person.
- Leaf mangold is set at a distance of 25 x 25 cm, stalk mangold needs a little more space, just under 40 x 40 cm. If you put the chard too tightly, it will be affected by mildew. Otherwise, chard is therefore again a popular vegetable plant for self-cultivation, because he is quite resistant to diseases and pests, the spinach-known trouble with the aphids you will not have with chard.
- Mangold really needs a lot of nutrients as a starvation giver, so during the main growing season (June, July) every two to three weeks, and every time you harvest, you get a light nitrogen boost. Compost and horn shavings have proven themselves for nutrient supply. When it grows, the chard always needs a moist soil. You can reduce evaporation by adding a mulch layer of grass clippings to the chard.
Swiss Chard - Harvest & Care
Swiss chard can be harvested already in the first year of cultivation, when the leaves are 30 to 40 cm tall. Cut mangold is quite resistant, it can overwinter in the open air and be harvested continuously until spring. Chard is generally harvested from the outside, then be pushed from the inside new leaves. After harvesting, the chard should be processed quickly, as it is not very durable. He can be frozen well.
In order to protect the plants from so-called frost freezing, a frost that directly affects the top layer of soil in the absence of an insulating layer of snow, it is advisable to cover it with leaves, foliage or straw. Stem mangold usually will not survive the winter, so it is usually harvested in autumn. The two-year-old Swiss chard forms flowers in the second year and then the ball-like seed, if he has lived through a month with cooler temperatures (which unfortunately will always be the case in Germany).