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Swiss Chard 'Fordhook Giant'

Beta vulgaris var. cicla 'Fordhook Giant'

Chard, Silver beet (Eng.), Spinasiebeet (Afr.)

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Fordhook Giant is a variety of Swiss Chard that is easy to grow, bolt resistant with a high yield even in heat and during light frost. This variety is a good choice for the beginner or busy gardeners. Fordhook Giant is an excellent variety that continuously produces new leaves when harvested frequently.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Summer
Fruiting time
Autumn

Harvesting

Young leaves are ready to pick 40-60 days after sowing and more mature leaves after 70 days. Chard is a cut-and-come-again crop, so use a knife rather than pulling off the leaves. Harvest leaves regularly as the older leaves can become tough. Cut off flower stalks to extend the harvest.

Propagation

Seed
Sow seeds directly from mid-spring​ into midsummer, 6-10 mm deep and 20-30 cm apart. Germination takes 7-12 days.

Special features

Crop rotation
Fordhook Giant is a heavy feeder and requires a lot of nutrients. Follow with legumes.
Pot plant
Swiss chard does very well in containers, provided they are at least 30 cm deep and 30 cm across. Three or four plants will fit comfortably in a 35 cm wide pot.

Geography

Origin
Mediterranean
Natural climate
Mediterranean

Environment

Light
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Half-Hardy

Uses

Edible
The leaves can be used as a replacement for spinach, used in salads, stir-fried, steamed, baked, frozen, chopped and sautéed and the white stalks can be creamed like asparagus.

Personality

Family
Amaranthaceae
Flower colour
, Green
Scent
None

Problems

It is resistant to most plant diseases but may be bothered by aphids, mites, snails, slugs, caterpillars and Cercospora leaf spot which disfigures the leaves with gray spots that have purple edges and downy mildew, which causes a mildew-like growth on the foliage.

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