Swiss Chard 'Fordhook Giant'

Beta vulgaris subsp. cicla

Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Beta (BET-uh) (Info)
Species: vulgaris subsp. cicla
Cultivar: Fordhook Giant
Hybridized by Burpee
Registered or introduced: 1934
Synonym:Beta vulgaris var. cicla



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

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Water Requirements:

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Where to Grow:

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12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


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Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


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Bloom Color:

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Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Late Fall/Early Winter




Other details:

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Soil pH requirements:

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Patent Information:

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Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:


Tucson, Arizona

Miccosukee Cpo, Florida

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Willow Springs, Missouri

Albuquerque, New Mexico

New Paltz, New York

Troy, New York

Bensalem, Pennsylvania

Norristown, Pennsylvania

Concrete, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 22, 2011, ReetPetite from Albuquerque, NM (Zone 7a) wrote:

In Albuquerque, NM it survived two winters but each year leaves were tougher. I planted new seeds early this summer in a new garden with great success. Chard is sweet and can be eaten in any way spinach is used. When cooked, I add onion, celery & bell pepper with butter to both leaf dishes for extra flavor.


On May 29, 2009, jackfrost from Troy, NY wrote:

I had a small space in the greenhouse that was not in use so I grew chard as an experiment. It is thriving and growing rapidly. As it is growing hydroponically, it does not require the same spacing as outdoors. Fifteen plants are growing in a 3 square foot system and doing remarkably well.


On May 4, 2009, MOJB from Norristown, PA wrote:

I put in some transplants at the beginning of last summer in sun but somewhat compacted clay soil location and they did not appreciate it and refused to grow to more than 6 inches tall. At the end of the season, I moved them to richer more fertile soil (in full sun) and covered them with plastic Tun'l Covers during the (bitterly cold) winter as an experiment. They did not grow at all during the cold winter, but they did survive with very little damage under the tunnel covers. In early spring, I removed the Tun'l Covers and added a mulch of shredded leaves and a little fertilizer and they are now about 18" tall and growing happily and putting on new leaves every week.

My mother grew the same transplants last summer in a sunny location with great soil and they put on a g... read more


On Mar 2, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Intro'd in 1934 by W. Atlee Burpee & Co. Plants usually 24-28" tall with 2 1/2" wide stalks. Reliable producer all season, even after the first light frosts. 50-60 days.


On Feb 6, 2004, Michaelp from Glendale, UT (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is the most productive of the Swiss Chard varieties I have grown.The stems are heavier and the leaves more full-Fordhook appears to have much less aphid problems than the colored varieties.I like the flavor of this one the best.