Here’s an easy vegetable to grow in East Texas and is full of nutrients! Who is this delectable delight? It’s Swiss Chard, which should be planted in late winter and can also be sown through most of the year. Quite often a single planting can be harvested for well over a year or perhaps into the second year if the flower stalks are removed as they develop. In the summer time, you will need to keep plants well watered; and Swiss Chard can handle light frosts.
Now, let’s talk about the nutritional benefits of this wonderful vegetable. To start with, it has anthocyanins and fiber, which help prevent colon and digestive cancers. Iron is another of its goodies, supporting your body’s ability to utilize oxygen. Included in the line-up is Vitamin A to protect your lungs and prevent heart disease; Vitamin C to boost your immune system and protect against heart disease; and Vitamin K to keep bones strong and allow blood to clot.
This vegetable is ‘showy’ to look at and would be a beautiful specimen in flower beds. So, while we are having fun digging in the dirt planting flowers, let’s add some Swiss Chard. Our bodies will thank us for it.
Patricia Fredrick, former Smith County Master Gardener
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service