Swiss Chard cold hardiness research

Swiss ChardI referred to this subject while writing a profile of The Cook’s Garden catalog but wanted to follow up on it.

In the Early Fall 2013 edition of Mother Earth News, they referred to research conducted by the Organic Seed Alliance on the cold hardiness of Swiss Chard.

In their research, they determined that its hardiness can be linked to the chard’s leaf and stem color. Apparently, varieties with green leaves were the hardiest. Next came gold varieties, pink, magenta and red varieties. Interesting, eh?

I think we all enjoy growing the more colorful types of Swiss Chard, most notably ‘Bright Lights’ and ‘Scarlet Charlotte’. But if you are interested in having your chard grow well into the colder months of the year, you might consider conducting your own experiment by trying a green-leaf variety and see how it performs for you.

In the Cook’s Garden catalog, they have several different varieties of chard, including some with green leaves and stems. I’m going to try this out in my own garden and report back on how it did.

Here is a link to the Organic Seed Alliance’s 2009 vegetable variety trials report. It’s free to read the reports; you just have to give them your email address.