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Articles about Vegetable Crops for the Garden

  Advantages of Container Vegetable Gardens
  Best Vegetable Crops for Containers
  Brandywine Tomatoes - Get the Most From This Heirloom Variety
  Choosing a Site For Your Home Vegetable Garden
  Container Vegetable Gardening Tips
  Container Vegetable Gardens
  Double Your Crops
  Getting Children Interested in Growing Vegetables
  Grow Your Own Salad
  Growing Tomatoes in Pots
  Growing Vegetable Plants Becomes More Than Just A Hobby
  How to Grow a Vegetable Garden
  Indoor Container Vegetable Gardening Ideas
  Indoor Vegetable Gardening How to Tips
  Learning About Indoor Container Vegetable Gardening
  List of vegetable crops by difficulty
  Mushroom Growing in Odd Unused Spaces
  Non Hybrid Seeds For Survival Gardening
  Organic Container Gardening - Simple and Easy Ways to Grow Vegetables and Flowers in Pots
  Organic Vegetable Cultivation Table
  Over Wintering Chilli Pepper Plants
  pH preferences of food crops
  Planning your Container Crops
  Planting Tomatoes Upside Down
  Potato Container Garden Tips
  Preparing a Vegetable Garden
  Review: Food4Wealth by Jonathan White
  Vegetable Container Garden Tips
  Vegetable Crops in alphabetical order by name
  Why I Recommend Vegetable Container Gardening
  Why Vegetable Container Gardening is Getting More Popular Today Than Ever
  How to grow organic Asparagus
  How to grow organic Aubergines
  How to grow organic Beetroot
  How to grow organic Broad beans
  How to grow organic Broccoli
  How to grow organic Brussels sprouts
  How to grow organic Cabbage
  How to grow organic Calabrese
  How to grow organic Carrot
  How to grow organic Cauliflower
  How to grow organic Celeriac
  How to grow organic Celery
  How to grow organic Celtuce
  How to grow organic Chinese broccoli
  How to grow organic Chinese cabbage
  How to grow organic Chicory
  How to grow organic Corn
  How to grow organic Cucumbers and Gherkins
  How to grow organic Endive
  How to grow organic Florence fennel
  How to grow organic French beans
  How to grow organic Garlic
  How to grow organic Globe artichokes
  How to grow organic Jerusalem artichokes
  How to grow organic Kale and borecole
  How to grow organic Kohl rabi
  How to grow organic Komatsuna
  How to grow organic Land cress
  How to grow organic Leaf beet
  How to grow organic Leeks
  How to grow organic Lettuce
  How to grow organic Mizuna
  How to grow organic Mustard greens
  How to grow organic New Zealand spinach
  How to grow organic Onions
  How to grow organic Parsnips and Hamburg Parsley
  How to grow organic Peas
  How to grow organic Peppers (hot and sweet)
  How to grow organic Potatoes
  How to grow organic Radishes
  How to grow organic Rocket
  How to grow organic Runner beans
  How to grow organic Salad onions
  How to grow organic Salsify, Scorzonera and Scolymus
  How to grow organic Seakale
  How to grow organic Shallots
  How to grow organic Spinach
  How to grow organic Squash
  How to grow organic Swede
  How to grow organic Texsel greens
  How to grow organic Tomatoes
  How to grow organic Turnips

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Frann Leach

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Organic Gardening:

How to grow organic Leaf beet


Ruby or rhubarb chard
Ruby chard can be ornamental

Leaf beet (Spinach beet/Perpetual spinach/Swiss chard/Seakale beet/Ruby chard/Rhubarb chard)

Beta vulgaris subsp. cicla

Family: Chenopodiaceae (Group 1)

Leaf beet has lots of names, including Spinach beet, Perpetual spinach, Swiss chard, Seakale beet, Ruby chard and Rhubarb chard, and is easy to grow. It puts up with dry weather well, and will give you tasty spinach type leaves for up to 12 months from a single sowing.


Leaf beet will grow in any reasonable soil in sun or light shade. Ideal pH is 7. Acid soil should be limed.

Dig in compost or manure in Autumn and apply a general fertiliser such as blood, fish and bone 2 weeks before sowing.

Recommended cultivars

Leaf beet Named varieties not usually offered
Swiss chardLucullus, Fordhook Giant
Ruby chardRhubarb chard, Rainbow chard

In April, station sow two or three seeds 30cm (1") deep 35cm (14") each way. Thin to a single plant in each position. A second sowing can be made in July or August.

Keep well weeded. Remove any flowerheads as soon as they appear. Water every 2 weeks in dry weather and mulch if possible.

Harvest outer leaves when large enough, from about June onwards, taking care not to disturb the roots.

Cloche or cover with straw in late Autumn to ensure Winter and Spring cropping;

Pests and Diseases

Downy mildew may occur in overcrowded plantings.

Birds may attack both seedlings and mature plants (if there is nothing more interesting for them to play with).

Hungry slugs may attack young plants in Spring.

Article ©2004 Frann Leach. All rights reserved.

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