A member of the beet family , this versatile vegetable is an easy to grow source of cool weather greens that’s perfect for an early spring or autumn veggie path.Let’s learn a bit about the different types of chard, and then we will share our favorite varieties for growing in the garden.There’s a small range of time to maturity in various cultivars, so that would also be something to look at, depending on how quickly you want your harvest.In my experience, the white-stemmed types, which have a milder flavor, tend to be more attractive to pests than the darker-stemmed varieties.This white-stemmed heirloom variety is a dwarf type, only reaching about 9 inches tall at maturity.Easy to grow in containers, it’s slow to bolt, giving you repeated harvests throughout the season.Colorful ‘Bright Lights’ produces stems in yellow, orange, gold, pink, red, white, and striped.This 1998 All-America Selections Edible Vegetable winner matures in 55 to 60 days and grows to about 20 inches tall.Introduced by Burpee in 1934, his mild-flavored cultivar has thick, dark green leaves that are heavily savoyed and quite tender.‘Fordhook Giant’ is easy to grow and produces heavy yields – even in warm weather.This heirloom variety has a wide, flat, white stem and smooth, tender leaves.‘Large White Ribbed’ grows to about 20 inches tall and is mature in about 60 days.Seeds for ‘Large White Ribbed’ in packets of various sizes are available at Eden Brothers.‘Lucullus’ is an heirloom variety of chard named for a Roman emperor who was well known as a gastronome.The color of the stems of this heirloom variety is nothing short of show-stopping – bright pink and beautiful!Find packets of 200 seeds for this colorful variety at True Leaf Market.This open-pollinated type displays bright orange stems topped by deep green, savoyed leaves, which are tasty in salads when harvested young.A bolt-resistant cultivar, this type is fully mature at about 20 inches tall within about 65 days after planting.Somewhat reminiscent of a Chioggia beet, this type makes a striking addition to your vegetable garden.The leaves are wide, dark green, and savoyed with bright white veins.Baby greens will add interest to salads, and the mature leaves are juicy and tasty when cooked.This type, also known as ‘Ruby Red’ (less fitting, since at least to me they don’t resemble grapefruit…) matures in 60 days and grows to 20 to 24 inches tall.Who knew there was such a variety available in the world of chard?And now it’s time to decide: tall or short?Whichever cultivars you choose, be sure to check out our complete chard growing guide for tips to get started, once your seeds arrive.Product photos via Burpee, Eden Brothers, True Leaf Market, and David’s Garden Seeds. .

All About Swiss Chard

It is often grown as a summer substitute for spinach because of its tolerance for warm temperatures.It also withstands cool temperatures and can be grown from early spring right up to frost.Swiss chard prefers rich, well-drained soil in full sun or light shade.Plants are rarely bothered by pests and diseases and grow easily. .

Swiss Chard Varieties: 12 Types of Chard Cultivars You'll Love

In this guide, we’ve narrowed down our favorite chard cultivars to grow in home gardens for maximum yields and nutritious flavor.They don’t require much fertilizer and are fairly low-maintenance as long as you give them nice well-drained soil and regular watering.As long as you never strip down your chard plant to less than three main leaves, it will faithfully re-grow until the first frosts of fall.There is nothing more frustrating than nurturing a delicate spinach crop all spring only to have it bolt the second the days reach about 75 degrees.This means you can grow chard as a summer alternative to spinach for a similar flavor, nutrition, and culinary uses.If you eat just a single cup of cooked chard you’ll get more than three times the recommended daily value of vitamin A and K, along with calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, and manganese.You’ll get a boost of fiber, an abundance of health benefits, and a mild delicious flavor in any recipe.Chard is a member of the Chenopodiaceae family along with spinach, beets, quinoa, and the weedy cousin lambs quarter.Swiss chard is technically a beet that has been bred for larger leaves rather than large bulbous roots.To find the best Swiss chard variety for your garden, start by answering a few key questions:.Once you’ve pondered these questions, check out our top 12 favorite Swiss chard cultivars and see what pops out at you.This is the classic blend of chard stems ranging from vibrant Fuschia to golden yellow to whitish-green to deep burgundy.While not technically a single variety, this medley of seeds has one of the All-America Selections Edible Vegetable awards quite a few times.Burpee Seeds introduced this classic Swiss chard in 1934 and it’s remained a garden staple ever since.It grows taller than other varieties (up to 30”) and takes 60 days to fully mature, at which point you can harvest leaves continuously with vigorous regrowth.The dark green leaves are thick and very savoyed (curly and crumply) yet have a tender crunch and a mild, sweet flavor.The broad white ribs are crisp and crunchy amidst thick light green leaves.It’s named after a Roman general who was a passionate gardener and lover of Swiss chard.The bright orange or golden-yellow stems and veins of the Oriole chard get brighter as the season progresses.Named after the Oriole bird, this gorgeous open-pollinated organic Swiss chard matures in about 60 days and gets more and more vibrant through the season.Add it to your own personalized blend of rainbow chard or simply go golden for vibrant antioxidant-rich greens all season long.It is the most bolt-resistant red variety on the market, with vibrant rhubarb-red stems and crumply savoyed leaves.‘Rhubarb Supreme’ takes about 60 days to reach bunching maturity but can be harvested for smaller leaves a couple of weeks sooner.It doesn’t taste minty, but it has bright candy-cane striped stems and verdant green leaves.This extremely bolt-resistant variety produces vibrant, clean leaves that grow perfectly upright for baby greens harvest.It has a heavy savoy as well as bright Fuschia stems and veins for beautiful color and texture in salads.This premium quality baby chard grows back again and again after each cut so you can have a tasty addition to your salad every night if you wish!Hybrid seeds are traditionally bred (no genetic modification here) by crossing two inbred lines of parents.It’s not often you get to see bright magenta pink in the vegetable garden, but this chard shines just as loud as any daisy.Harvested at the micro stage, these greens are loaded with nutrition and a tender delectable flavor for salads, garnishes, and slaws.It is biennial, so it seldom bolts (goes to seed) in its first year, which is amazing for gardeners who struggle with summer-bolting spinach.This rare and delicate Swiss chard is resilient in the face of harsh weather and pests, yet super tender and lovely in the kitchen.Tall, short, savoyed, smooth, orange, Fuschia, pink-striped, or classic green… whichever cultivar you choose, it will thrive in your garden with some preparations and a little TLC.Check out our detailed growing guide to yield the best Swiss chard you’ve ever grown.If you can, grow a few different varieties to experiment with what performs best in your specific garden while adding a buffer for unexpected weather or challenges. .

Growing Swiss Chard

Fortunately, it is easy to grow in the ground or in containers—especially when you begin with strong, vigorous Bonnie Plants® Swiss chard starter plants—and is one of the few greens that tolerates both cool weather and heat.It will linger in the spring garden much longer than mustard, turnips, arugula, or other greens with the tendency to bolt.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.Plants are generally problem free but may be attacked by aphids, mites, or caterpillars that chew holes in the leaves.For advice on how to handle pests and diseases in the garden, contact your local Extension agency.Chop large leaves to cook down like spinach, or use in casseroles, soups, and pasta.In areas that never experience a hard freeze, Swiss chard sometimes behaves like a perennial, living for several years.Whole harvested leaves will keep in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks in a loose plastic bag or sealed container.Swiss chard is a neat plant that grows well among other vegetables as shown in this raised planter at Juniper Front Community Garden in San Diego.Harvest large leaves by cutting them from the outer part of the plant at the base of their stems. .

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. .

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. .

Swiss Chard: Best Varieties, Planting Guide, Care, Problems, and

Whether you’re a beginner or experienced, the plants will reward you with a bounty of healthy, leafy greens with relatively little fuss.Swiss chard is similar to spinach, but has a more earthy flavor and comes in lots of bright colors to pretty up your vegetable patch.Like spinach, Swiss chard is rich in iron and other elements.Swiss chard grows well in gardens or pots and is a prolific leaf-growing vegetable that’s quick to prepare for eating.Bonus: it’s also easy to hide in your children’s dinner for a sneaky health boost.Originally an Italian heirloom variety, it has dark green leaves and white, crisp stalks.This is a nice variety if you live in a hot area because it’s more heat tolerant than some other types.This colorful variety looks lovely on a sunny day because the red, orange, pink, and yellow leaves seem to glow in the sunshine.Oriole has gorgeous golden stems with dark green leaves.This dark green chard has thick, tender leaves and is prolific even in the heat.Swiss Chard likes full sun but will tolerate partial shade.Swiss chard grows well in containers, and the benefit is you can place the pot near your kitchen for a quick harvest.Use a good quality container soil mix and slow release fertilizer specifically for potted plants.Plant rows about 18 inches apart because if all goes well, your Swiss chard will grow big and you’ll need plenty of airflow to help keep disease at bay.With Swiss chard, bigger is not always better because some varieties will lose flavor if the leaves get too big.Water the soil around the base of the plant, not the leaves to avoid scorching in the hot sun and you don’t want to encourage disease.Give plants a layer of mulch to help conserve water, particularly in hot areas.The tiny pests suck the life out of your growing Swiss chard plants.Spray them off of your plants with a strong blast of water and then apply neem oil to keep them from returning.They can kill an entire row of growing Swiss chard plants in one night.Use repeated applications of pyrethrin-based sprays to control them and introduce beneficial insects into your garden.Also be sure to rotate your crops, meaning you shouldn’t plant brassicas in the same place for several years in a row.Regardless of the variety of slug and snail in your area, they’ll love your Swiss chard.The damage caused by leaf miners shows up as tracks through your leafy greens.This is a fungal disease that affects most plants and forms unsightly spots on the leafy part of the Swiss chard.I’ve seen it get so bad to the point where the leaf appears to have a grey mold on the surface.There are several fungicides available for controlling leafspot, but I usually remove the whole plant and throw in the garbage, not the compost heap.Practice good soil hygiene and remove any debris and dead vegetation from your garden.If you see the telltale sign of a grey powdery mark forming on the leaves, remove the affected parts and throw in the garbage.Sterilize tools between use, keep your garden beds free of weeds and toss any infected plants that you find.Your best bet to avoiding this disease is to control pests using neem oil or pesticides.Mosaic virus shows up as spots on plants, wrinkled leaves, yellowing veins, and stunted growth.Use a sharp knife and cut the large, outer leaves at the bottom of the stalk about an inch off the ground.Don’t be tempted to rip or snap the stalk as this can damage the plant and allow disease into it.One of the great things about chard is you can pick the large leaves as you need them and allow the smaller ones to grow. .

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