Coast chards (beta vulgaris var cycla) and leaf beets (also called herbs) belong to the Chenopodiaceae family and are therefore closely related to beets.
The beta vulgaris, also called chard, are vegetable plants and are cultivated both for the green part and for the thicker central part, called costa. Both are consumed mainly from cooked.
Beta vulgaris is native to the Mediterranean basin. It has a two-year vegetative cycle, in horticultural crops it is considered annual if only the aerial part is consumed, while in industrial agricultural cultivation, the harvest is carried out in the second year, when the roots, having reached full development, are sent to the sugar factories for the sugar extraction.
There chard it has a herbaceous stem, large leaves of an intense green color, with developed central, tender and fleshy veins.
It is formed by one or more stems, first erected and then folded on the ground.
Chard in shortType of plant Biennial herbaceous grown as an annualheight From 35 to 60 cmcare easyNeed water averageGrowth rapidResistance to cold Very rustic (up to -10 ° C)Exposure Sun-shadesoil Not demanding, rich and freshpH Neutral or sub-alkalineavversitа Nematodes, cleono, slugs and snailsGround
The best soils are those of medium texture, fresh and deep, irrigated, without water stagnation.
The beets are characterized by a large central taproot root: consequently they need a deep soil and in any case rich in organic substance as well as well-drained.
It is a crop for renewal and is suitable for opening a rotation. Swiss chard is well associated with carrot, onions, lettuce and all cabbages. It is good to let at least three years pass before inserting them again in the same plot.
Sowing and planting
the chard is sown in seedbeds in February to harvest leaves during the summer, and in September for a harvest in the spring.
Outdoors you can sow from March to all summer.
The winter harvest can be obtained by sowing in seedbeds in August and transplanting in September. The distance between one plant and another is about fifty centimeters in each direction.
The leaf beets are sown on the spot in spring and late summer.
The seeding depth is about three centimeters. Thirty grams of seed are enough for a square meter of seedbed.
The chard calendar
From April to August
|Sow in lettorino||February March|
|Collection||From June to November|
It is absolutely necessary that the soil never gets completely dry. It is therefore good to irrigate with a certain frequency, avoiding anyway stagnation. To lessen the interventions it is always a good idea to prepare a mulch based on leaves, straw or other insulating material. Plastic films are also excellent. All these tricks will also help us to avoid the onset of pests, which will in any case be monitored with frequent hoeing and hoeing of the foot and surrounding areas.
Weeding, to be carried out to keep the soil loose, must be followed by balanced irrigation. Shading and hoeing must be carried out to aerate the soil and keep it free from weeds.
The chard needs rich soil and generally tolerates the presence of not completely mature manure. Instead, pay particular attention to the excessive presence of nitrogen because, as with spinach and other leafy vegetables, it would lead to an accumulation of nitrites, which are harmful to health.
An organic fertilizer, consisting of about three quintals of manure per 100 square meters of vegetable garden, must precede sowing and the fertilizer must be buried in time at a depth of 30 35 cm.
The leaves are harvested by climbing, cutting the outer leaves of the plant with a knife and binding them to bunches.
The beets are collected by removing the whole plant and bringing the product into bunches.
As already said, they are very important especially in times of water scarcity, but water stagnation should be avoided.
Among the pests we remember the altiche and the clone. Cryptogamic diseases include downy mildew.
Both the chard and the herbs are very sensitive to cleono, nematodes and ground fleas. To avoid the emergence of these problems, it is fundamental to carry out crop rotations, avoiding to insert them in a field in which they were already cultivated in the two previous years.
there garden beet also called "herb"
Silver-sided chard Bionda of Lyon;
Triestina cutting blonde;
Green Smooth Cutting;
Lucullus chard characterized by bubble leaves and curls.
Origins and history
Chard is an endemic vegetable of the whole Mediterranean basin. It was certainly already known to the Greeks and Romans, who used it both in the kitchen and as a medical remedy.
Only recently has it spread to countries in the Middle and Far East, where it was practically unknown.
Although it has been known for millennia, research and hybridization have not changed much its appearance and its peculiar qualities.
Chard in pot
For this type of cultivation it is preferable to choose those for cutting, since others need a very deep soil for the taproots.
Instead, the herbs will grow very well, giving us abundant and continuous crops.
We prefer a container that is wide and at least 40 cm deep, and we sow from March onwards. The ideal exposure is the partial shade. We opt for a substrate rich in humus, such as garden soil, even slightly clayey, providing a thick draining layer on the bottom.
We never let the substrate dry out, but without creating puddles.
Swiss chard harvest
Harvesting begins about 2-3 months after sowing. In family gardens, instead of waiting for the complete development and cutting off the plants at the base, it is possible to make a scaled collection by taking away the more completely developed outer leaves.
Leaf beets grow even faster: they are usually ready 5 weeks after sowing). The collection in this case is carried out at the time of need by cutting with scissors or with a knife at the base, in the necessary quantity always preferring the most developed parts and leaving out the heart.
It is always preferable to carry out these operations in the morning, when the tissues are soaked in sap: the harvest will remain hard and palatable for longer.
Preservation of the chard
The beets are kept fairly well in the refrigerator, especially if we have the foresight to wrap them, from very dry, in a plastic film. However, the green part is the one that deteriorates most quickly and is therefore good to use as soon as possible.
Generally the herbs are cooked in a single solution, while the chard be divided in part green and white part and cooked separately. The latter, in fact, needs a longer time to become tender and therefore edible.
They can also be frozen: they are quickly scalded in water and cooled with ice, then drained and placed in bags suitable for the freezer. It is ideal to conserve only the green layers, immediately consuming instead the coasts: as a result of thawing they lose their peculiar consistency.
Bieta, Chard - Beta vulgaris: Variety
Among the most known varieties we point out the monstrous silver coast, the green with broad silver coast and the white. There are also different varieties with colored coasts and some hybrids characterized by good resistance to nematodes.
The chard is a herbaceous plant that derives its origin from the Mediterranean basin; It is cultivated throughout Italy, in m