We all know the Swiss make some pretty handy Army knives. And some yummy cheese with tons of holes in it (I really don't want to know what makes the holes though). But did you know about Swiss chard?
This particular variety is called Bright Lights
And it is gorgeous.
Sure, you can grow it as an edible vegetable, but it's also lovely to use in your flowering container plantings.
It grows in sun to part shade and supposedly grows 12-16 inches tall.
Tell that to my studly 33 inches plants.
This relative to the beet is second only to spinach as one of the healthiest vegetables known to man.
It's probably the prettiest veggie out there too! The stalks remind me of rhubarb, but with a brighter almost neon look to them.
Hubba hubba. Who needs Magic Mike when you have these hunks!
BTW, I haven't even attempted to eat any yet. I sort of just planted it for looks.
In my container I planted three chard plants in the middle with some purplish-blue verbena on each side of the Swiss chard.
How much it grows seems to depend on the pot size and how much room it has.
For instance, this is what the rest of that 6 pack of Swiss chard looks like in a much smaller planter that is crammed with other plants.
Planted at the exact same time, but it's maybe, possibly, if it really stretches its arms out, 18" tall.
All the photos to this point were taken about two weeks ago. This is what that same planter looks like now.
Yeah, I think I need to lay off the fertilizer. I saw Jack trying to climb up it last night.
WARNING: Snake talk going on ahead!
Just a side note, but to the left of the plant in that brown mulch lives a snake. I think it's a garter snake, but occasionally I'll see him sitting on the step getting a tan and having a glass of sweet tea. Once he sees me he'll either crawl between the bricks and that step (which totally freaks me out whenever I walk down that step) or slither into a hole in the mulch.
Just thought you might want to know, the entire time I was taking photos I was picturing the snake slithering across my feet. A frond from a fern plant blew across my leg and I about peed my pants. OK, I may have actually peed my pants.
OK, go enjoy your day now that I put THAT thought in your head.
If you want to grow it to actually eat it, here are a few recipes you might find interesting:
Spicy Pickled Swiss Chard Stems
Swiss Chard Tomato Quiche
Swiss Chard Salad With Toasted Walnuts
Have you ever grown Swiss chard before?
Other posts you may enjoy:
Easiest Vegetables To Sow Directly In The Ground
How To Grow Black-Eyed Susan Vine
Homemade Squirrel Repellent Recipe
I've been eating a whole food diet for over a year, but I have yet to try Swiss chard. Now you KNOW I'm going to double-dog dare you to eat it, right Pam? Please let us know what gourmet delight you prepare with your greens and how you liked it. Maybe you could add diagonally sliced and lightly sauteed snake as a protein source. Can you tell I've watched a few too many episodes of Naked and Afraid? hehe
Your plants and photos look amazing!
My stomach is queasy right now thinking of sliced snake 🙁 I'm thinking of trying it (chard, not snake) this weekend, Barbara (a couple comments below yours) mentioned how she sautes it, so I think I'll try it that way! Now to figure out how to pick some pieces off without having to reach into the plant.
chris aka monkey
no i haven't ever planted swiss chard and do you want to know why? .........i heard that it is a snakes favorite veggie muuuuhahahah xx
Yeah, thanks! It doesn't help that a frog is living in the planter. He sort of blends in with the dirt except for his eyes. I don't mind frogs at all, but darn if he doesn't look like a snake's head if you just glance at it!
What, you're not eating it as fast as it appears? Better than spinach, easier than corn on the cob.
Well, I'm not a big spinach eater, but I may have to give it a try 🙂
Yes, I grow Swiss chard - and the Bright Lights variety! It's gorgeous and just as pretty when you cook it. I saute it in a little olive oil in a waterless skillet, add a clove or two of chopped garlic (depends on how much you're fixing) and a little salt and pepper. That's it! Delicious with a little balsamic vinegar!
That sounds yummy! I'll give it a try and posts pictures if it turns out!
Yes, about three years ago my husband planted Swiss Chard in the garden as an experiment! I found a youtube video about how to cook it and made it for lunch one day! It was delicious! Best green to eat!
You all are convincing me, I'm going to give it a try this weekend. Hope it's not too big (tough) to eat?
You're really funny, Pam! That's why I keep getting your blog feed, makes me laugh and chuckle. Keep up the good work. Never had swiss chard, such a strange name for a plant/vegetable. If you are on instagram I'll look you up. Mine is @UpYonderDesigns. Toodles
I found you! I'm following along on instagram now!
Wow, you are right. Looks fantastic. What a charming boy! But you do have also a green thumb, my friend.
All my best from an Austrian gardener
Thank you Tante!
The Swiss Chard looks wonderful used as an ornamental in your planters. I have heard it is mighty tasty cooked. Never tried it myself. As for snakes. RUN. SCREAM. Avoid at all costs. Can you tell, I am not particularly fond of them, either.
Normally when I see the first one in the yard in the summer I pretty much cross off that part of the yard for gardening. I can't do that with the back step though, so I just make sure I make lots of noise (do they have ears?) and stomp around when I'm walking in that direction!
I never thought of growing Swiss Chard just because it's pretty. What a great idea! Although I do like to eat it. 🙂
I think I'm going to try to cook some of this weekend (if it's not too big to eat now)!
I have a Garter snake stalking me! First I found him underneath a cooler lid and he slithered underneath my porch. Then when I was filling up the dogs swimming pool, he slithered over my foot and tried to wrap himself around my leg! I think he may have a crush on me. The feeling is not mutual.
That chard is gorgeous!
And you actually think this is the same ONE snake? I bet the whole nest of them have a crush on you!
Heather @ new house new home
Never thought of putting swiss chard into a planter like that - genius! The foliage is so interesting that it makes for a great focal point in the flower box.
Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces
I'll have to try that one next year...so decorative and you can eat it, too...all good. We never see snakes here anymore...when I was a kid they were everywhere.
Larissa ~ Prodigal Pieces
I like swiss chard for eating and for display...great tips and fun read, Pam!
Wonderful idea for putting some large leaves into the garden, and yummy veg too!
Maybe you'll feel better about your garter snake if you consider how many garden pests he's consuming each day 🙂 I've actually considered kidnapping a few from my sister's garden (she's not fond of snakes, either) to help keep down the slug population.
I grew up eating it from my grandmothers garden, later when I had small children we had a large patch of it in our garden. I was telling my husband yesterday, when we get settled in our new house I wanted to plant a small raised garden and plant some Swiss chard. I have never seen it as ornamental foliage and love the idea!
and don't forget to squeeze lemon over it...yum