vulgaris, (Cicla and Flavescens Groups) Swiss chard, B. vulgaris, is a type of beet.Read on for all you need to know to grow it in your garden!Successful cultivation requires a location that gets full sun to part shade, with soil that is organically rich and well-draining.In addition to growing it for consumption, B.
vulgaris is often cultivated as an ornamental.And whether you grow it to eat or just to look at, this cut-and-come-again vegetable should have its leaves snipped frequently to encourage further leaf formation throughout the growing season.B. vulgaris grows from irregularly-shaped seed clusters that contain several seeds in each.How to Grow.Choose a smaller-stature variety, and trim leaves as soon as they reach six inches, to encourage more leaf than root growth.For garden plants, you may cut leaves at heights from six inches to two feet, depending upon plant size.In addition, leaving mature leaves unharvested may result in more root growth and fewer new leaves.Place one seedling every 12 inches, leaving about 18 inches between rows.Water and maintain even moisture, never allowing the soil to completely dry out during the plants’ acclimation to their new location.Some folks like to grow “baby greens,” meaning they like to harvest them at a height of at least six inches tall.Once established, plants need an inch or so of water throughout the growing season.Good “companions” are those with similar sun, soil, and water needs that don’t attract pests and diseases that would have an adverse effect on your vegetable.Read more about companion plants for chard here.Space according to planned use as “baby greens” or full-size leaves.The standard cultivar has a smaller stature, with stalks from 8 to 10 inches tall, making it a perfect container gardening choice.A larger version of ‘Fordhook,’ this cultivar tops out at 24 inches.If you’re looking for a variety prized not only for its flavor, but its exceptional heat and cold tolerance, white-ribbed, light green-leaved ‘Lucullus’ may be the one.It reaches a height of up to 24 inches, and often winters over, for an early spring crop.Billed as “bolt-resistant,” this beauty has bright orange stems and dark green leaves.Stalks are 8 to 10 inches tall, making it suitable for a small container garden.With its abundant bright red stems and dark green leaves, ‘Ruby’ makes a pretty ornamental as well as an edible in the summer through fall landscape.Chard is not prone to insects or disease.With nutrient-rich soil, good drainage, adequate aeration between vegetables, and a minimum of weeds, you’re well on your way to success.It’s also wise to rotate crops and not co-plant with spinach or beets, to inhibit insects specific to this botanical group, such as the beet leafhopper, that winter over in the soil and live their lives on these plants, as well as chard.They attract leafminers and their seedlings closely resemble those of chard, so weed well and with caution!Curly top disease, that affects leaves and roots and is spread by the beet leafhopper.Remove any leaves that are damaged by animals, insects, or disease, and discard them.This vegetable is a cut-and-come-again species that provides multiple harvests during the growing season.Harvesting stalks when they are young and tender, at about six inches tall, is an excellent way to get the maximum number of harvests per year.When harvesting both young and older leaves, always take the outer leaves first, leaving the younger, inner ones to continue to grow.Make clean cuts across each stem about an inch above the base of the plant.Get more information on harvesting Swiss chard here.You may enjoy the leaves and stems cooked or uncooked, together or separately.When preparing it, consider cutting up the leaves and stalks separately.This way, you may remove cooked leaves and allow the somewhat tougher stems to continue on until tender.Young leaves are excellent when lightly wilted in sautés.Plant Type: Annual or biennial vegetable Growth Rate: Fastest in cool weather Native To: Sicily, naturalized in Europe and the Americas Maintenance: Low Hardiness (USDA Zone): Annual 2-11, biennial 6-11 Soil Type: Rich, organic Season: Spring to hard frost Soil pH: 6.0-8.0 Exposure: Full sun to part shade Soil Drainage: Well-draining Time to Maturity: 50-60 days Companion Planting: Brassicas, celery, chamomile, coreopsis, lettuce, mint, nasturtium, radishes, sweet alyssum Spacing: 12 inches Avoid Planting With: Other subspecies of B. vulgaris (beetroot, sugar beet), corn, curcurbits, most herbs, potatoes Planting Depth: 1/2 inch Family: Amaranthaceae Height: 8-24 inches Subfamily: Chenopodiaceae Spread: 9-18 inches Genus: Beta Water Needs: 1 inch per week Species: B.
vulgaris Tolerance: Cold, heat with adequate watering, light frost Pests & Diseases: Aphids, beet leafhoppers, blister beetles, flea beetles, leafminers, slugs, tarnished plant bugs, curly leaf fungus, root rot.Find the recipe on our sister site, Foodal.With your abundant harvest, you’ll find this dish is your new go-to-choice for impromptu get-togethers.If you use the leaves for a recipe and have stems leftover, consider them a vegetable in their own right, and prepare them separately. .
How to Grow Swiss Chard from seed – West Coast Seeds
They grow easily and well in our climate and stand in the garden for many months, giving a long harvest from one planting.Continue reading below for some useful tips on how to grow Swiss chard from seed.Swiss chard prefers loose, deep, and fertile soil that is rich in organic matter.Plenty of consistent moisture is required, especially as plants grow larger.It grows best in full sun, but will tolerate light shade in summer.A liquid fertilizer or compost tea applied twice during summer will keep chard growing well.For salad mix, seed more densely and cut as baby leaves. .
How to Grow Swiss Chard
Sow chard in the garden 2 to 4 weeks after all frost has passed in spring.To get an early start, sow chard indoors as early as 3 to 4 weeks before the average last frost date in spring for transplanting out when plants are 3 to 4 inches (7-10cm) tall.Chard is a member of the beet family grown for its rosette of large, crinkly green leaves on thick red or white stalks.Plants can grow to 16 inches tall and leaves and stalks can be harvested several times over the course of a season on a cut-and-come-again schedule.Sow chard in the garden 2 to 4 weeks after all frost has passed in spring.To get an early start, sow chard indoors as early as 3 to 4 weeks before the average last frost date in spring for transplanting out when plants are 3 to 4 inches (7-10cm) tall.Cut the weaker seedlings off at soil level with small scissors.Crowded plants may tend to bolt and go to seed more quickly.In larger containers, set chard in wide rows on 8-inch (20cm) centers.Keep chard evenly moist for quick, tender growth.Prepare planting beds with well-aged compost in advance of sowing.Side dress chard with aged compost at midseason.Avoid growing chard with legumes, potatoes, or tomatoes.Control aphids by pinching out the affected leaves or hose them away with a blast of water.Harvest chard on a cut-and-come-again schedule; remove a few outside leaves at a time. .
Growing Swiss Chard Plants
Plant Swiss chard in the spring, 2 to 4 weeks before the last frost date.Space Swiss chard 12 to 18 inches apart in nutrient-rich, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.8.Growing Swiss chard works best in rich, moist soil with a soil pH between 6.0 and 6.8.Plant about 12 to 18 inches apart in fertile soil, watering directly after planting.Water regularly, applying 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week if it doesn’t rain. .
Grow Swiss Chard
Swiss chard and beets are the same species, and they require a period of overwintering in order to set seeds.When growing for seed, increase spacing to 19 inches between plants in rows 36 inches apart, or to 24 inches on center.Swiss chard can be continually harvested throughout the season.Harvest the outer leaves at the base of the stalk, leaving four to five inner leaves to continue growing.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.Allow plants to re-grow to 5-6 inches before harvesting again.How to Save Swiss Chard Seeds.A benefit to growing Swiss chard for seed is that you can lightly harvest the plants in their first season for food, and then let them overwinter and harvest the seeds the next year.Depending on the percentage of ripe seeds at harvest, 7 to 14 days should be a sufficient drying period.Threshed seedstalks should be discarded, and the seed lot should then be screened and winnowed. .
It isn't difficult to grow, but does require some maintenance as trimming the leaves frequently helps improve Swiss chard's flavor.High temperatures slow down leaf production, but chard tolerates heat better than spinach.Lucullus, harvest in 50 days; is somewhat like spinach with white stalks and light green leaves.Fordhook Giant, harvest in 60 days; produces green leaves and white stalks and is heat tolerant.Bright Lights, harvest in 60 days; sports a mix of yellow, orange, crimson, and purple stems.Vegetable Recipes: Quick guides to delicious meals using Swiss chard. .
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. .