Perennial chard

I recently learned that Swiss chard is a perennial vegetable, which came as something of a surprise. In previous years mine has always bolted and I’ve had to pull it out at about this time of year.

However, with this year’s batch I did something different. That is, the chard overwintered without a cloche. So perhaps more cold instead of warmth is the trick?

Swiss chard having survived the winter

In any case, I enjoyed a meal of it in omelette this evening. It looks so pretty both in the ground and in the plate. And I hope it will keep going a while longer, whether or not it is truly perennial.

Do you think chard is perennial?


About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
This entry was posted in Gardening, In the kitchen, Permaculture and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Perennial chard

  1. I plant a few more plants, perennial or not rather than try to keep the old ones, and when the new plants are ready I pull out the old plants and feed them to the goat!

    • Helen says:

      I like it!

      I tried planting more in the front garden but cats or birds have disturbed the seeds, so looks like I need to try again!

  2. afarmingartist says:

    I am so happy to hear this. I wonder if it will return in my zone? Maybe if I bury it deep enough it will!

  3. Lovely update found this the other day and thought you might like to read it have a blessed weekend

  4. atkokosplace says:

    Depending on where you live, I believe many plants can be a perennial and vice versa. What a nice surprise you got! And made for s lovely dinner too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. drofmit4108 says:

    Helen, there is a chard that is a true perennial… perpetual spinach.
    It is a chard and not a spinach and it is tough in the stem like spinach….
    so you have to cut that out.
    Personally, having grown it, I prefer proper chard like above….
    “Perpetual Spinach” has neither the flavour of spinach or chard….
    We once had some chard go through two full winters at Burley Model… but that was an exception.
    We’d covered what we thought was dead chard roots woth a mix of straw and cardboard….
    with the intention of “lazy bed”ing potatoes there the next year… but the old roots seemed to like the treatment and sprung fourth [or fifth]… but the size of leaf and rib wasn’t as good the second spring.
    We grow Rainbow [as above] and Fordhook Giant… which gives up to two inch wide stems that can be braised like celery.
    I love seeing Rainbow in the dish… all those colours against the green… looks as good as it tastes.

    We always over winter the once… the spring pickings come at a very good time in the “hungry gap”… we will be picking what’s left in the next few days and cooking and freezing….
    the salads have now come on stream…

    • Helen says:

      Yes, salad is always such a joy at this time of year!

      And you’ve answered my question about whether chard is perennial or not…. I think I will stick to rainbow chard after your description of perpetual spinach!

I love to read about your own experiences and any other feedback you have, so look forward to your comments below.

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