On Saturday I said goodbye to my Swiss Chard.  It treated me well, providing many inspirations for cooking including bacon and swiss chard strata with gouda.  It grew so fast and provided such large leaves that I couldn’t cook with it enough to keep up.

I planted it last August from seed indoors and transplanted it into a large ceramic pot.   I planted both a red and yellow colored stalk (one packet of seeds will produce different color stalks), but the red colored stalk quickly overtook the yellow.

A few weeks ago one of the leaves leaning against the fence had a grey powder covering the entire leaf, so I discarded it.  Then shortly after the other leaves started to develop the same powder.  I didn’t want to try and diagnose the disease and frankly I was tired of swiss chard in my diet. (Such a bummer too because it is so good for you!)

I pulled off the leaves and removed the stalks and discovered the thickest, hairiest roots.  It looked like something out of a sci-fi film!

All of the leaves had this grey powder/film and they didn’t look too appetizing. (Let alone edible??)

So, I carted the pot to the front yard to dump and when I did I discovered the largest root ball!  Now mind you, I had planted lettuce in the same pot before planting the swiss chard, but I can’t imagine that lettuce would develop roots.  I am completely amazed how the roots had coiled themselves entirely around the pot and then even made their way outside the hole in the bottom!  I guess I might have just diagnosed my problem.

Needless to say, I will be planting Swiss Chard again this spring or fall to see what else this amazing plant has to offer! 🙂