The Cheeky Chard

rainbow chard harvest, small garden ideas, sprout

Most vegetables hate the cold winter weather. This vegetable, however, thrives in it, providing beautiful splashes of colour in an otherwise dark and dreary month. A close relation of spinach and beetroot, this vegetable grows huge green leaves on multicoloured stems, giving it its cute collective name of ‘rainbow’.

Aside from the name, it’s the leafy green that just keeps on giving. Not only does it grow throughout winter, meaning you can eat it almost all year round, but both the stalk and the leaves are edible, giving you all sorts of different recipes to try!

The Cheeky Chard is our pick for January.


One of the many reason chard is so fantastic is that it is so simple and stress-free to grow. Sow seeds directly into the final growing position; either in rows 30cm apart in a bed, or scattered across a container. It can be sown anytime between March-November, and will continue growing right through the winter.

Each plant can get fairly large, so make sure you thin out to at least 10-15cm between each plant, and more if you are going to grow them bigger.

sprout chard seedlings growing


Whilst you are growing your chard, you can get some early baby harvests when thinning out the pot. It’s best not to start harvesting your other plants until you have finished thinning, so they can grow unimpeded up until then.

Once you are happy with the number of chard plants you have, get harvesting! Using a knife, cut individual chard leaves on their stems close to the soil, so you take as much of the stem as possible. As always, cut the largest, outside leaves first, leaving the smaller ones to continue growing.

rainbow chard growing sprout


Chard is another of those vegetables that make a great easy side dish. Simply finely slice the stalks and leaves, heat a frying pan with butter and add the stalks, get them cooking a few minutes before you add the leaves and fry until soft and buttery.

However, it is also very adept at being the star of the show. Definitely try this baked potato with middle eastern chard and beans, adding a fun twist to a Monday dinner. 

For real excellence however, turn to Anna Jones. Her chard, lentil and bay gratin is just as good as it sounds! 

chard vegetable grow your own small garden ideas

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