Cool-season crop


What’s not to love about chard? Leaves and stems are pretty in pots and garden beds, they taste great in soups and stir fries, and the plant produces over a long season.

At the top of our chard list: ‘Bright Lights’, which has leaves ranging from green to burgundy and stalks in shades of yellow, orange, burgundy, and more; and ‘Rhubarb’ with ruby red stalks. All zones.

You can begin to cut outer leaves for the table when the plants have reached about 1½ ft. tall. New will leaves grow up from the center of the plant.

Western Garden Book of Edibles

Here's what to buy, plant, and watch for in your part of the West


If you haven't gotten started on your vegetable garden yet, don't worry ― it's not too late!

In Northern California, start sowing seeds for your cool-season veggies (think chard and spinach); in the Northwest, consider squash and melon; and in Southern California and the Southwest, don't forget to plant your tomatoes.

In the Rocky Mountain States, we've got ideas on how you can attract beneficial insects and cute critters.

See what to do in your own region of the West:

Northern California

Southern California



Rocky Mountain States

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