The Q&A Archives: Mildew On Chard

Question: My neighbor and I are both growing "Bright Lights" chard. We have noticed this fall that some of the colors are more susceptible to mildew than others. Our question is then is it safe to consume the mildewy chard after washing well or should we pull those plants which are affected? What would be a good treatment for the plants should we wish to save them?

Answer: Swiss Chard is a sun-loving vegetable that grows best in warm weather. The leaves may be developing powdery mildew because of warm day and cool night temperature. I've had similar problems with chard and either cut away any damaged parts, or wash the mildew off with mild soap and water, then rinse well. Since the leaves are generally cooked before eating, all traces of the mildew will be gone. To avoid problems in the future, try planting your chard earlier in the spring so it will mature during the summer, or plant it now so you can harvest in early spring.

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