Chard : Italian Silver Rib
Favorite of Italian cooks
Exclusive. Selected by discerning Italian cooks for clean mellow flavor, handsome vigorous plants have wide, silvery mid-ribs & crinkly, broad, deep green leaves. Great spinach alternative.Chenopodiaceae Beta vulgaris subsp. cicla
You can begin harvesting outer leaves when plants are well established and have 6 to 8 stalks. Break or cut stalks off at the base of the plant, always leaving at least 3 to 4 stalks to allow the plant to continue growing. It's best to take stalks from the outside, working your way in each day you harvest.
When and How
You can cut Chard down by cutting within 3" to 4" from the ground. It should sprout tender new growth if the season permits. However, Chard is one of the best “cut and come again” crops. Keep harvesting the outer leaves as they get big enough and more will be produced. Harvest freely, but don't take too many from a single plant at one time and give them a chance to recover. If you look after your plants they can keep on producing for months.
Shiny green leaves with silvery-white midribs
The leaves contain large amounts of vitamins A and C, as well as calcium, phosphorus, potassium and iron. They also contain oxalic acid, which can inhibit the absorption of calcium to some degree (see Spinach for more on this).