Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Kale and Swiss Chard in the Garden

Fall is an exciting time in the veggie garden.  There are lots of tasty vegetables that prefer the cooler temperatures.  If bed space is limited, sometimes it's hard to choose what to grow.

In addition to my staple plants of broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage and rutabagas, this year I’m trying out some leafy greens:  Kale and Swiss Chard.

Kale and Swiss Chard have very attractive leaves that can be cooked or eaten in salads.  Young leaves are best, especially in salads, since older leaves can become tough.

The Kale variety I am growing is a Dinosaur Kale called ‘Toscano’.  I'm not sure why it's called a Dinosaur Kale, but I hope it's a hint that it grows to be ginormous.  When mature, ‘Toscano’ has very dark green, savoyed (wrinkled) leaves. 

The Swiss Chard variety I'm growing, called ‘Bright Lights’, comes in assorted colors, such as the yellow and red stemmed varieties pictured below.

‘Bright Lights’  and ‘Toscano’ will grow to be 24-36”H and 18”W.  Both plants need full to part sun, cool mild weather, rich soil, and regular water.  If all goes well, I will be rewarded with some colorful and tasty leaves in about 50-65 days.

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