The Seed Saving Network

Rainbow Chard

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Beta vulgaris

Story: Chard is an all-star of the kitchen garden. It produces leaves for ages and is hardy and delicious.

When to sow: Sow your seeds from spring to late summer-June to October, depending on when you would like to eat it. We successional sow.

Requirements: Moist, nutrient-rich soil in a sunny space.

Harvesting: cut off leaf stems as needed. Chard can be harvested when young, for small tender leaves, or later for a cooking green.

Seed Saving: Chard produces crazy fun flower stalks and thousands of seeds over the course of its two year life, but a little patience is required as it only sets seed in its second year. The plants can often be overwintered in the ground in mild winters if protected with a straw mulch or fleece in frosty weather.

Allow the plants to flower; it is recommended to allow 5 or more plants to flower and set seed to keep genetics strong. Chard is wind pollinated so it is best to allow only one variety to go to flower at any one time (beetroot is also closely related so can also cross). The flower stalks grow huge! Allow the seeds to fully ripen on the plant - the stalks and seeds will turn brown at this point. Then cut the entire stalks and bring inside to hang or lay on cardboard to fully dry (they are huge, we use the greenhouse floor). Then, wearing gloves, strip the seeds into a big bucket. Try to winnow as much chaff from the seeds as possible (video to follow) Package them up, label and date and share the abundance of seeds - with friends, family and seed networks. 


Please remember, if you’re an individual grower you can order up to 3 packets of seeds. If you order more than this, you will receive just three packs to begin with. This is to ensure we get plenty of data in return and to keep our stocks sustainable for years to come.* 

*Community groups and Experienced Growers can order larger quantities, please email us if this is the case.

If an item is out of stock we will send a close alternative.