Of all the plants that are both delicious and beautiful, rainbow chard is one of the few which fall into the all-important third category of being ridiculously easy to grow as well. This is an absolute winner to fill gaps in borders as well as in the veg plot, with beautiful, jewel-like stems when the sun hits them.
The leaves can be blanched, chopped roughly and added to pretty much anything, from risottos to omelettes.
You can sow them direct into well prepared, well watered ground right now, giving them a good 30cm in which to grow. This is a great way of beefing up your borders with edible, beautiful bounty. Sow an inch deep, cover over and then watch carefully to keep them safe from munchers.
This is a cool season crop so if you can mulch your damp soil with something (grass clippings are fine) then your plants will thank you for it.
You can also sow them in small pots to keep them away from marauding slugs and snails when they are tiny babies. Grow them on until they have a good root system (one that holds the soil within a 3 inch pot together). Plant them out into the garden, water in well and enjoy until it’s time to chop. You can of course cut off leaves singly, as and when you need them, but if you chop the entire plant close to the ground it will eventually spring up again with new leaves. If you can’t face that all that chard in one go, simply chop it up and freeze in small portions which you can then add directly into your bolognese sauce, or breakfast smoothie.