MacGregor Swiss Chard Scottish Heirloom
MacGregor Swiss Chard Scottish Heirloom

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I started this rare Heirloom Chard called  MacGregor’s Favorite Swiss Chard last spring 2014 under lights. It grew in the garden and filled out wonderfully. I moved it from the garden ( fall 2014) to an outdoor container near my driveway. A few chipmunks munched it to the soil line until I moved it closer to the house. Those little guys eat a lot of my stuff for they climb on my pots and nibble. If I place my edible plants closer to where my dogs hang out, they don’t bother my plants for they are  not as bold!

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In November (2014), I replanted them a 3 rd time ( that growing season) in a 12″ X 12″ container which was 6 inches deep and moved it inside for winter. This Swiss Chard also can be eaten as a beet, or you can leave the plants in the ground all summer for leafy greens, and eat the beet later. This is one versatile plant, don ‘t you think?

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You have to grow this RARE Scottish Heirloom Swiss Chard, for if we don’t all start growing it the seed will be lost. It is open-pollinated +  perfect for small gardens. There are only two places right now to purchase seed. I purchased my seed from Wild Garden Seed last year. I grew it out in my garden and found it to be one of the most tender + beautiful chards for containers.

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 It is a root, a leaf; it is Swiss Chard!   The plants from 2014, I kept alive and will replant in the garden for 2015 to save seed. It is my first time attempting to save Swiss Chard seed. Wish me luck!I finally found a perfect Swiss Chard for city dwellers. It does not get too large as others, and it can be “ALL” things to you.

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It is THAT deep red in person as in the photo!  I would love to see this plant edging more walkways in the city mingled with a few flowering annuals such as  calendula or lemon gem marigolds.

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It is filled with healthy anthocyanins (read more here from a post I wrote this summer)

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Young leaves emerge a bright green….. as they grow a lovely red just watercolors across the leaves.

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chop some up to mix with other salad greens from your garden or if you are in the middle of winter as I am in the Midwest

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just toss them with  microgreens….

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Make a beautiful winter microgreen salad for yourself or company. This salad is so tender you do not even need dressing!  I hope, I have enticed you to give this lovely little plant a chance in your garden. I only found one seed source in 2014 which was Wild Garden Seed (visit their site here)  but now Territorial Seed Company (visit their site) is carrying this beet.

Here is seed saving directions for Swiss Chard. Let’s all Save seed of this amazing heirloom and share with others so we don’t lose this little beauty!

Growing and Saving Seed Instructions

 from High Mowing Organic Seeds

Wind pollinated biennial. Different chard varieties must be isolated by ¼ mile from each other and from any beets that are flowering as well. Barriers such as tree lines, woods or buildings between varieties may allow for shorter isolation distances. In the fall, dig up the plants and cut off any leaves about an inch above the crowns. Transplant into bins of damp sand or sawdust and store at 32-40°F under high humidity. In mild climates chard may survive with protection outside or in a greenhouse. In the spring, transplant outside 6″-10″ apart in rows 16″-24″ apart. Be prepared to stake or trellis the plants as they can grow to several feet in height. Harvest seed stalks as they dry and thresh with a flail or by stomping. After threshing, use a ½” and ¼” screen to help with cleaning. Chard seed remains viable for 4-6 years under cool and dry storage conditions (read more here)

Written by Robbie

M.S. Education, , Organic Gardener, soil + nature lover, former modern dancer

25 comments

  1. Wow, it is a beauty, that’s for sure! Definitely one to look for and grow – I’m a big fan of Swiss chard and I like the idea of growing it in containers. I’m curious as well…in your tenth (second last) photo, what is the frilly microgreen leaf right on top?

  2. We can’t get it here but please keep spreading the love and light about this very versatile veggie Robbie. It does promise so much and gives a whole lot for the tiny price of a few seeds. Fingers crossed you get lucky with saving the seed but if it’s like most other kinds of chard you will be rolling in seed pretty soon ;).

    1. lol. I know from what I read , it gets very tall when it produces seed. I have only 4 plants( saved from previous year), we shall see:-) My Heirloom Golden does not die in my garden if I protect it or place near some taller plants. This one is so tender to cook with + very tasty. Your neighbor is the former owner of Territorial seed company:-) He might be able to get you some since they sell it now!

      1. Yeah, he sold that years ago and I doubt he has much to do with them now Robbie. He did help start a seed company here but has since distanced himself from it and grows veggie boxes for customers from his garden now :).

    1. It it both:-)lol It is a rare heirloom Swiss Chard called MacGregor’ s Favorite- At the end of my blog post, I have the two companies you can purchase it from in USA. I use it mostly for the leafy greens, but the beet is tasty,too:-) I grow extra to harvest as beets + leave some out for greens!. They don’t get as large as the other Chards:-)

      1. lol:-)I love to share! Eliza, I wintered over the Parcel-Leaf Celery. Yeah-I’ll keep you posted how it does this summer-maybe it will go to seed, reseed etc?? I will find out. I covered it in the garden when the temps were dipping in the teens + it is doing great. I started some more a few weeks ago. They take a bit longer to germinate than parsley or cilantro.I have them planted next to my asparagus bed. We shall see how they do. Always an adventure!

    1. LOL-Kathy:-) Do remember to protect it in early spring the local critters on my property nibble it to the ground every year! It comes back,but it is so annoying:-)You will enjoy this one, trust me:-)

    1. + the same to you:-) I visit your blog often for it educates me + you always have beautiful photos to help us that are not as well educated in your field! I always learn something new. I did love mythology in high school. Yes, we could take a class in it, but as for college- I did not-a wonderful world to study!

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