Bionda a Costa (Argentata)

bionda a costa.jpg
bionda a costa.jpg

Bionda a Costa (Argentata)


Ships January 2018
Considered the highest ranking chard in taste tests, this Italian heirloom chard has dark green savoyed leaves with wide silver-white midribs. Grows 2-3 feet.  Mild and sweet with no oxalic aftertaste was what we heard from reviewers at Perdue.  At midsummer when it becomes too hot for spinach or other greens turn bitter use Bionda a Costa.   
55 days.  

150 seeds (15 feet row) 

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Swiss Chard
A packet of seed sow 15 ft row (150 seeds)

Sow chard seed about the average last frost date, late April on Long Island.  A 15 ft row will provide “greens” for general use through the summer for a small family.  You may want to plant again in mid summer for a crop that will last into the early winter.  Add thinning to salads.  If you harvest the outer leafy stalks and leave the growing centers you will have a continuous crop.

Sow the seeds (seed balls) an inch or two apart in a row and cover with 1/2 inch of soil.  You can transplant seedlings with care.  Chard responds to nutrient rich, well prepared garden soil and should have several hours of sun per day.

Some chard greens are excellent in salads especially when picked young.  The “greens” can also prepared like spinach and for many people chard is used when spinach (a cool season crop) is not available in mid to late summer.  Chard has been rediscovered and there are many ways of preparing the leafy blades as well as the fleshy petiole stalks into memorable and nutrient-rich dishes.  The colorful chards such as Red Rhubarb Chard is especially attractive in tubs and planters and as accent plants for early fall.

To produce a seed crop you will have to overwinter the roots either by mulching them in the field or moving the plants into a cold, frost free area where they will not dry out until they can be planted in the spring (they are biennials and take two years to flower and seed.  Chard will cross with each other and beets.  Chard is capable of producing a sprawling plant with lots of seeds early in the second year.  Wait till the plant begins to die and the long spikes with clusters of seed balls turn brown.