Swiss chard is ready for picking 30 days after sowing if you want baby leaves.Grow chard for late spring and early summer harvest in cold-winter regions.Swiss chard holds up well against warm temperatures, unlike other leafy greens.Store Swiss chard cold and moist, 32°-40°F (0°-5°C) and 95 percent relative humidity.Place chard in the refrigerator in a perforated plastic bag in the vegetable crisper section.Chard that is stored too cold or too long will develop brown spots on the midrib and the leaves will wilt and yellow. .
Growing a Top Superfood: Swiss Chard
Related to beets, this nutrient-dense, delicious, versatile vegetable doesn’t get nearly the amount of attention as popular greens such as spinach and kale.An excellent source of vitamins A, B, C, K, heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, copper, iron, manganese, phosphorus and potassium—it’s among the healthiest foods you can eat.Fun fact: Swiss chard is a Mediterranean plant and not actually native to Switzerland, as you might expect.This variety is highly productive and resists bolting, resulting in a longer growing season.This variety is highly productive and resists bolting, resulting in a longer growing season.Rhubarb chard has deep-green, crinkly leaves with bright crimson stalks that contain phyto-nutrients called betalains.But it’s still considered a cool season crop with an optimal growing temperature of 50–70°, as these conditions produce the sweetest, most tender leaves.If you’re growing in warmer temperatures, consider planting Swiss chard where it will receive afternoon shade.Because Swiss chard grows tall, we recommend planting it in the top section of your Tower Garden.Aphids are small insects that typically feed on young plant growth, causing it to appear puckered or deformed.are small insects that typically feed on young plant growth, causing it to appear puckered or deformed.Downy mildew looks like fine white cotton or frosting and often infects lower plant leaves first.As the disease progresses, spots enlarge, ultimately resulting in small holes before leaves turn brown and die.Tower Tip: Learn how you can naturally beat bad bugs and prevent plant diseases.Swiss chard leaves make a convincing spinach substitute, as the stalks do for asparagus or celery.The healthy green is delicious simply sautéed with lemon juice and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. .
Chard : From Seeds To Harvest
To harvest the crop even earlier, start the seeds indoors and move outdoors when nighttime temperatures are no lower than 28 degrees.Mulch with grass clippings or compost to add extra nutrients to the plant’s growth, and water moderately. .
When & How To Harvest Chard – Swiss Chard Harvesting Tips
As a big fan of leafy green vegetables, I love that chard has incredibly long harvest season.And you can continue doing it until late autumn when air temperatures drop below freezing point….Since I grow it primarily for young and tender leaves (they make a great salad when mixed with other leafy greens such as arugula, spinach or lettuce), I first harvest it only six weeks after sowing it.I pinched of its biggest three leaves and left the rest so the plant could regrow itself and give me more harvest.As you can see in the bottom part of the picture, I already picked a few leaves and left the rest so the plant could regrow itself.This protects the growing bud inside the plant and enables it to regrow itself much faster than without any leaves at all.Of course, you can harvest it this way at any time, however, I only do it when plants are overcrowded and need to be thinned in order to become even bigger and re(grow) even faster.Now if you are only interested in mature leaves and stalks, you need to wait a bit longer for the harvest.Plant it in March and you can expect to start harvesting full-sized leaves and stems somewhere towards the end of June….At that point, I no longer limit myself to just leaves and start harvesting stalks (stems) as well.Unlike other leafy greens (such as spinach and lettuce), summer heat does not stop it from growing and does not make it bolt either (in its first year).So, as long as you’re picking it regularly, it keeps producing new leaves throughout the whole summer and all the way until first hard freeze, which usually occurs late in autumn or early in winter.If you live in an area where winter temperatures rarely drop below freezing point, then your luck is in.The leaf growth may slow down a bit during cold spells, however, you can continue to harvest it, not only through the winter, but through the entire spring as well….For us, the chard harvesting season usually ends once harsh winter begins.What’s interesting though is that each year, for some reason, a handfull of my chard plants survive the winter.The thing about these winter survivors is they start growing and producing new leaves again – as soon as temperatures outside rise above freezing point.They provide us with fresh produce very early in the spring, in times when growing season is just starting and homegrown vegetables are in short supply.The leaves of winter survivors may be a bit sturdier, but nonetheless edible and full of healthy vitamins and minerals!Chard is one of those leafy greens you can harvest throughout the entire gardening season. .
How to Harvest Swiss Chard
A favorite of leafy green fans, this vegetable is a nutritional powerhouse that’s typically eaten fresh when the leaves are small and tender.And fully grown, the glossy, crinkled leaves are enjoyed as a fresh wrap or lightly sauteed, steamed, or added to simmering dishes.They add a striking vertical interest and vibrant contrast, and come in a variety of vivid colors including burgundy, mauve, orange, peach, pink, red, white, and yellow.Plus, unlike most cool-season leafy greens, these fast-growing plants can handle most of what the summer has to throw at them in terms of heat without bolting or turning bitter.This excellent ranking is due to its rich nutritional profile, which includes high levels of antioxidants, minerals like manganese and potassium, and vitamins A, C, and K.A cut-and-come-again crop, new growth is developed at the core of the plant as the outer portions are removed, producing a steady supply of tasty greens.Young Swiss chard is ready for a first picking as soon as 30 days after sowing, or when the first sets of true leaves are about four inches in length.To harvest baby greens, use a clean, sharp knife or garden scissors to cut the outer leaves about two inches above the soil.Or they can be chopped and steamed or lightly sauteed like spinach, and added to casseroles, pasta dishes, stir-fries, soups, and stews.Another way to enjoy the rich nutrients of Swiss chard – particularly in the winter months – is in microgreen or sprout form, which can easily be grown on a countertop near a bright window or under a grow light. .
How To Harvest Swiss Chard
It has large circular green leaves and the stalks can be white, yellow, pink or red and they’re also edible.Swiss chard plants are fast growing and can reach 12 to 20 inches (30 to 50 cm) tall.The best time to harvest green leafy vegetables is early in the morning when the leaves are plump and sweet.To harvest swiss chard as a whole, cut the plant off at its base with a sharp knife and discard any outer leaves that are yellowing or discolored.To remove individual leaves from the silverbeet plant, pluck them off gently by hand or using a knife, just below where they meet the main stalk.Once harvested, swiss chard leaves will keep fresh stored in a plastic bag in the crisper section of the fridge for 5 to 7 days.Young, tender swiss chard leaves can be finely chopped and eaten raw in salads, while the older leaves can be steamed, stir fried or added to omelettes, quiches, frittatas, pies and many other dishes.The stems can be chopped and added to soups, stews, curries or stir fries.Swiss chard / silverbeet is an easy plant to grow that can provide you with a steady supply of nutritious green leaves. .
Growing Swiss Chard Plants
Plant Swiss chard in the spring, 2 to 4 weeks before the last frost date.Get your growing season off to a great start by mixing in several inches of aged compost or other rich organic matter into your native soil.Harvest Swiss chard any time the leaves are large enough to eat.Apply organic mulch such as compost, finely ground leaves, wheat straw, or finely ground bark to keep the soil cool and moist and to keep down weeds.Mulching will also help keep the plant leaves clean, reducing the risk of disease. .
How Do I Grow Swiss Chard
Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable that’s renowned for its nutritional value, and it’s popular with gardeners because it is so easy to grow.You can also download my How Do I Grow Swiss Chard one-sheet and keep the free resource handy for your reference.Also known as silverbeet, spinach beet, leaf beet or simply, chard, Swiss chard is a wonderful addition to soup, dip and baked dishes, and it can be sauteed in oil with garlic for a side or a warm salad.For earlier harvests, Swiss chard may be started indoors three to four weeks before the last frost date.The air movement will prevent damping off disease, a fungus that is fatal to newly sprouted seedlings.Hardening off is the process of gradually introducing plants to the outdoor environment and the intensity of the sun.Swiss chard performs best in full sun but will also tolerate a little shade.The soil should be well drained and amended with plenty of organic matter, namely compost.Space the seeds or seedlings out so that the plants will not touch one another once they have reached full size.Having grown this variety for years, I’m always amazed at how carefree and beautiful it is in the garden and on the plate.It’s like a painting with all the range of stem colors from red, orange, pink, yellow and white, all in one crop.The leaves are ready to harvest in 23 to 35 days from transplanting, and the plants have a good degree of disease resistance.Perpetual is an open-pollinated chard that has tasty, smooth leaves that taste like spinach and are ready to harvest in 50 days.Rhubard is a chard variety that is so named because it has thick red stalks like rhubarb.Like most vegetables, Swiss chard requires an inch of water per week.A drip irrigation system works well to ensure Swiss chard gets the moisture it needs for consistent growth.Just make sure that if using a fish fertilzer on chard that the first number in the NPK ratio is the highest.Swiss chard is largely unbothered by pests and rarely affected by disease.While feeding on plant leaves they excrete honeydew, which attracts ants and other insects.They are easily controlled by knocking them off plants with a sharp stream of water or insecticidal soap.Another strategy is to plant a trap crop of radishes, which flea beetles prefer over most anything else.For a severe infestation, a bait like Sluggo, which contains iron phosphate, is a safe, organic option.Avoid overhead watering that creates a welcoming environment for fungal spores.Read my comprehensive guide Powdery Mildew Prevention & Control for more information.The younger leaves are great in a salad or eaten like beet greens or spinach.Cut the young plants an inch above the ground with sharp scissors or garden shears and they’ll continue to grow over and over.Swiss chard is best enjoyed the same day it was cut, but it can be stored, unwashed, in an unsealed plastic bag for up to a week.Sign up to receive gardening resources, eBooks and email updates on the joegardener podcast and more.None of the items included in this list have any bearing on any compensation being an influencing factor on their inclusion here.The selection of all items featured in this post and podcast were based solely on merit and in no way influenced by any affiliate or financial incentive, or contractual relationship.At the time of this writing, Joe Lamp’l has professional relationships with the following companies who may have products included in this post and podcast: Rain Bird, Corona Tools, Milorganite, Soil3, Exmark, Greenhouse Megastore, High Mowing Organic Seeds, Territorial Seed Company, Wild Alaskan Seafood Box and TerraThrive. .
Grow Swiss Chard
Swiss chard and beets are the same species, and they require a period of overwintering in order to set seeds.Downy mildew can be a problem for Swiss chard when grown close together as baby greens.Birds also enjoy the leaves, but protecting new seedlings under row covers can deter them.Swiss chard can also be harvested in closer plantings as baby greens, cutting the leaves about 3 inches above the soil and returning every week or so.At seed maturity, plants of this species take up a fair amount of garden real estate.Depending on the scale of seed collection, individual seedstalks can be cut or entire plants can be pulled from the garden and moved to a place where they can continue drying.Depending on the percentage of ripe seeds at harvest, 7 to 14 days should be a sufficient drying period.Small lots and cut branches can be processed by running a gloved hand along the length of the stalk with a container placed underneath to catch dislodged seeds; stalks should be discarded once they are stripped of seeds.Larger lots and whole plants can be placed in large tubs or on tarps and treaded upon.When stored under cool, dry conditions, beet seeds can be expected to remain viable for 5 years. .