This is the easiest and most versatile vegetable you can grow, and it can be eaten raw or cooked. If you plant it now it will reward you all winter as it is one of the hardiest vegetables. Grow just a few plants in a container or plant some in the garden, either way you won’t regret growing chard. Seeds are readily available and so are young plants, if the latter is more your bag just pop each plant into multi-purpose compost in a pot allowing 30cm apart, water in and in a few weeks the leaves will be bigger and the plants will fill out. Sowing from seed is easy too, just sprinkle some seeds into multi-purpose compost approximately 2cm deep and 5cm apart and water them in, you will need to thin the seedlings as they get bigger, to 30cm apart if you can. I grow the variety Bright Lights as the stems are a striking bright red, yellow, white and orange and in the winter they seem even bolder and definitely cheer up a dull day. Pick the leaves when they are small for salads, they add a crisp beetroot flavour, the larger leaves can be steamed like spinach for a few minutes or added to a stir-fry.
Top Tip: The more leaves you pick the more will be produced, even if you harvest the last leaf it will grow back again and again!
If you are interested in growing vegetables, Parkers-Patch runs courses throughout the year.