GROWING THE “SWISS” MANGOLD
Recently, they gave me the seeds of a Swiss chard.
What is this plant?
The term "Swiss" is used to distinguish chard from artichoke ... in French seed catalogs in the XNUMXth century. Apparently, the seeds of both plants were sold under the same names, and the name "Swiss" became firmly established, becoming the universal brand we know today.
Chard, or beet leafI grow all over the world. Breeders have created varieties with expanded petioles of leaves, milder taste, easily adaptable to various soil conditions, resistant to disease. Most often, chard is grown as a salad culture.
Mangold - the culture is very flexible, can withstand light frosts and heat, but at very high temperatures (above 32 °) it is difficult to get leaves of good quality, and with prolonged exposure to temperatures below 5 °, plants can shoot themselves. The optimum for him is 12-24 °.
Vertically directed, from green and white to pink, red, orange and yellow, leaves with thick petioles look very attractive. If you sow a chard at the end of summer, then the appearance of the site can be revived at a time when annual flowers lose their decorativeness.
Varieties with white petioles and large green leaves are invariably more productive and resistant to premature stemming than varieties with colored petioles. Red-hearted varieties often form flower stalks, especially after repeated exposure to temperatures below 5 °, coupled with subsequent prolonged dry periods. And in principle, such a chard forms more leaves, but its petioles are thinner. But in any case, 8-10 plants will give enough leaves for a family of 4 people.
IMPORTANT. The earthy taste that many people don’t like gives the chard leaves the organic substance geosmin. But in an acidic environment, it breaks up, which explains the widespread use of vinegar and lemon in the culinary processing of products.
Mangold, like other leafy green crops, prefers well-drained, humus-rich soil with a high humus content and pH 6,5-7,5. On acidic soils, one month before the introduction of rotted manure or compost, dolomite flour or lime is added.
Seeds begin to germinate at temperatures above 4 °. The ideal position is the full morning sun and daylight penumbra. Like beets, chard can be planted, leaving between rows 40-45 cm, and between plants 10 cm. Harvest - the largest leaves from the periphery of the bush - begin after 45 days from germination. At this time, they reach a length of 20-30 cm and have a delicate taste. Chard develops best in moderately cool weather at a temperature of 15-24 °, but heat reduces the quality of the crop, reduces plant growth and provokes the appearance of bitterness in the petioles.
It is better to water the plants under the root, so as not to provoke the appearance of fungal diseases, in particular cercosporosis. In this disease, which is transmitted, by the way, and beets, rounded spots from light brown to brown in size of 1,2-1,3 cm with a distinct 'dark brown or purple halo appear on the leaves. Fungicides cannot be used to protect against this disease, but measures such as crop rotation, improving soil drainage and maintaining a good level of moisture and fertility are usually sufficient for prevention.
Closer to fall, the days are getting shorter and the plants grow more slowly. Therefore, the number of plants should be increased by 2-3 times (compared with spring sowing). But chard frosts are not terrible.
Bulky chard leaves deteriorate very quickly and are poorly sold in large-scale commercial production. Therefore, young leaves, the so-called baby leaf, are more in demand, more like spinach with bright stalks. To obtain such products, seeds are sown every 3 weeks from spring to mid-summer, until the weather becomes really hot. Then sown in late summer for harvest in the fall.
Planting scheme - 2-2,5 cm between plants and 30 cm between rows, seeding depth 0,6-1 cm.
IMPORTANT. Mesh or non-woven material protects the chard's crops from birds that young seedlings like to pull out. You can grow this crop in pots.
Baby leaf especially need constant humidity and mild non-hot weather. Their taste is more tender, there is no bitterness and earthy aftertaste unpleasant for many. Harvesting is started after 30-35 days from full germination, when the plants reach a height of 10-12 cm. The leaves are cut with scissors at a level of 2,5-5 cm above the soil level, without damaging the growth point, and then watered with soluble fertilizers, and chard begins to form a new crop.
Leaves in a loose plastic bag or sealed container can be stored in the refrigerator at 4 ° C or lower for one to two weeks.
VARIETIES OF THE “SWISS” MANGOLD
Of the chard novelties included in the State Register of Breeding Achievements Approved for Use in the Russian Federation, I would like to mention a hybrid Charlie (Rijk zwaan/Netherlands). This mid-season hybrid is suitable for growing baby leaf both in open and in protected ground. Fast-growing, oval-shaped, strong, shiny, bright green leaves do not lose color, narrow petiole and veins - a rich red color, excellent contrast between the green and red parts of the leaf! The leaves are crispy and nutty. The yield of greenery is 4-4,1 kg / sq. m.
Ruby Fresh (Sakata / Japan) - medium early, moderately growing variety of chard. It has bright red petioles with well-defined veins. Leaves are dark green of medium intensity, thick, round to oval, slightly wavy at the edge. The variety is resistant to premature stemming, which makes it indispensable for t growers of leaves or spring mixtures. It can also be used to produce baby leaves both outdoors and in greenhouses.
Another hybrid company Sakata - F1 Fire Fresh. Harvest baby leaf is also harvested at the age of about 25-35 days, the full size leaves reach the age of 55-65 days. Fire Fresh has bright red stalks and bright green leaves that add a bright color to salads, spring mixes or roasts. Plants are fast-growing, with a vertical rosette of leaves, which allows them to stay clean until harvested. The hybrid is resistant to downy mildew, cercosporosis and premature stemming.
Barese (Johnny's Selected Seeds) - an early ripe dwarf variety for baby leaf and harvest of full-sized leaves, including in hydroponic systems. It is also suitable for collecting and selling whole plants (as well as pakcha). Harvested when plants reach IT-22 cm.
MANGOLD - VIDEO
© Author: M. IVANOVA, Chief Researcher, VNIIO - Branch of the Federal State Budget Scientific Institution Federal Scientific Center
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