VULKAN - Open Pollinated Swiss Chard Seeds

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Beta vulgaris 

  • Early maturity: 60 days 
  • Vulcan chard is an improved rhubarb chard developed in Switzerland.  
  • Very decorative, with bright red stems and green to purple leaves.  
  • It has a good flavor and high yield.  
  • Hardy and ornamental.  
  • Open-pollinated seeds. 
  • Natural, Untreated, Non-GMO Seeds. 

GERM: 89%

Sow chard at wide spacings to produce large leaves for cooking or much closer together for baby salad leaves. Don't sow too early, as plants sown in the cold tend to flower prematurely (bolt).  

FOR MATURE LEAVES: Make two sowings to supply large leaves throughout the year; one in mid-spring to crop in summer and fall, and one in midsummer to pick from fall to the following spring. Stretch a string across the bed and make a trench 1 in (2 cm) deep along it. Sow single seeds at 4 in (10 cm) intervals, cover with soil, water well, and label.  Space rows 15—18 in (38—45 cm) apart. Plants can be raised in cell trays, on a windowsill, or outdoors, for transplanting when 2 in (5 cm) tall. Sowing in cells will give your chard plants a head start for summer salads. Sow one seed 1 in (2 cm) deep in the center of each cell, then cover with potting mix. Water well. Transplant seedlings by holding the root ball or leaves rather than the stem. 

FOR BABY SALAD LEAVES: Between early spring and midsummer, sow successionally every 2-3 weeks into soil or large containers. Sow seeds 1 in (2 cm) deep, into single rows, spacing seeds roughly 2 in (5 cm) apart and rows 8 in (20 cm) apart; or sow into broad 6 in (15 cm) wide drills, spacing seeds roughly 2 in (5 cm) apart each way. 

THIN: Each chard “seed” is actually a cluster of seeds that will produce several seedlings. Gradually thin them to 12 in (30 cm) apart for mature plants or 2 in (5 cm) apart for baby leaves. Thin chard sown in cells to one plant per cell after planting out. 

PLANT OUT: Harden off young chard plants raised indoors by gradually acclimating them to outdoor conditions over a period of 7—10 days. Plant them out at 12 in (30 cm) intervals in rows 15-18 in (38—45 cm) apart if you want to harvest mature leaves, or at 2 in (5 cm) intervals in rows 8 in (20 cm) apart if your goal is to pick baby leaves. 

WATER: Chard plants develop deep roots and can survive long dry spells without watering. However, they will yield more leaves given a thorough soak weekly during summer to keep the soil moist. Container-grown plants need regular watering. Apply a spring mulch around plants to retain moisture and suppress weed growth. Water red-stemmed varieties often as they are most prone to bolting. 

PROTECT: Protect seedlings from slugs and snails with barriers and traps. Birds sometimes damage seedlings; cover with netting or fleece if this is a problem. For better-quality leaves to harvest during winter, cover rows with fleece tunnels. 

Mature leaves are ready about 12 weeks after sowing. Start picking them from the outside of each plant by snapping or cutting the base of each stem. Pick off any flower stems that form to prolong the harvest. Harvest gradually as needed by cutting or snapping off the outer stems. Harvest mature plants all at once by cutting the stems at the base.