How to grow chard from seed
Chard is a fantastic leafy green to grow from seed. Sow Swiss chard ‘Fordhook Giant’ to use the thick crunchy stems in stir frys, or go for rainbow chard to enjoy a multi coloured rainbow of pinks, reds and yellows on your plate. Sow your chard seeds using quality seed compost, placing your seed trays under cover in an unheated greenhouse or sunny windowsill to germinate. Alternatively, you can sow your chard seeds directly into their growing space outdoors. Choose a spot with fertile, free-draining soil and try to leave 10cm between rows.
When to sow chard seeds
Sow chard seeds directly outdoors in May. Make successional sowings every week or so during the summer for a longer cropping period that extends into autumn. Expect to see germination from your chard seeds within two weeks of sowing.
How to grow beetroot from seed
Beetroot is easy to grow from seed. Sow your beetroot seeds directly into their final growing space to avoid disturbance to the root. Make sure the compost or soil mix is free from rocks and perennial weeds. Scatter your beetroot seeds in shallow lines spaced roughly 15cm apart. Thin the seedlings as they develop to allow each seedling room to swell.
Choose the traditional purple beetroot ‘Boltardy’ or try something new with beetroot ‘Chioggia’, which produces a sweet crunchy root with deep purple concentric rings running through the white flesh. Regularly water your beetroot seedlings as they develop.
When to sow beetroot seeds
Sow your beetroot seedlings directly into the ground outdoors in spring as the weather improves from March onwards. Make successional sowings of your beetroot and harvest the roots when they are around the size of a golf ball.