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Perpetual Spinaches Beta vulgaris (Leaf Beet Group)

Phonetic Spelling
BAY-tuh vul-GAIR-iss
Description

The Leaf Beet Group of Beta vulgaris consists of cultivars such as Swiss Chard and Beet Spinach that are grown for their edible leafy greens.  Unlike the common beet, these plants do not grow a swollen root.  The leaves can be eaten raw or cooked, the thick stalks best eaten after cooking.

These cultivars do best in full sun to part shade as well as moist, rich, well-drained soil.  They grow fastest in the cool temperatures of spring and fall, although they continue to produce leaves through summer. They are tough plants that can tolerate heat, humidity, and drought, although they stop growing without adequate moisture.  As it is a biennial, they do not produce flowers until their second year and therefore have no risk of bolting from heat.

Plants can be either direct-seeded or transplanted from indoors; if transplanting, start seeds about four weeks before transplanting.  Thin plants to 4-5 in apart.  These plants can be grown in containers, doing best in a minimum size of 2 quarts and depth of 8 in.  Although maturity rates change between cultivars, baby leaves can be harvested in roughly 30 days and mature leaves in 60.  It is encouraged to harvest the largest leaves first so fresh, new leaves can grow.

 

VIDEO Created by Homegrown featuring Bill Lord, former Area Specialized Agent for NC State Extension

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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#cultivars#red#sun#yellow#full sun#partial shade#small spaces#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#orange#edible plant#container plant#vegetable garden#vegetable#edible garden#edible leaves#edible#cool season vegetable#humidity tolerant#container vegetable garden#shade tolerant vegetable#pink#drought tolerant vegetable#ornamental vegetable#containers#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#spring greens
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#cultivars#red#sun#yellow#full sun#partial shade#small spaces#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#orange#edible plant#container plant#vegetable garden#vegetable#edible garden#edible leaves#edible#cool season vegetable#humidity tolerant#container vegetable garden#shade tolerant vegetable#pink#drought tolerant vegetable#ornamental vegetable#containers#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#spring greens
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Beta
    Species:
    vulgaris
    Family:
    Amaranthaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Biennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Mediterranean, Europe
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    drought, heat, humidity
    Edibility:
    Leaves and stalks can be harvested and eaten. Harvest only as needed as they do not keep long in the fridge.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 8 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Edible
    Vegetable
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    Insignificant
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Spike
    Flower Description:
    Green, non-showy spikes of flowers in the plant's second year. Spikes can rise as tall as 4'.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Orange
    Pink
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    While the leaves are green, Swiss Chard can feature midribs and petioles that are white, orange, yellow, red, or pink.
  • Stem:
    Stem Buds:
    Smooth/Hairless
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Edible Garden
    Design Feature:
    Small groups
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Heat
    Humidity