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. .
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. .
Swiss Chard Growing Information: How to Sow, Grow & Harvest
Bunching: Sow about 6 seeds/ft., 1/2" deep, rows 18–24" apart from midspring and on into midsummer (fall where winter is mild).Baby Leaf: Sow 1/4– 1/2" deep at 1–2 seeds/inch in rows at least 2" apart from midspring into late summer (fall where winter is mild).When planting more seeds per inch, be sure to plant rows farther apart.Bunching: Cut or snap mature leaves individually.Baby Leaf: Harvest with a knife when leaves reach desired size, about 3–6".This consistency allows for more accurate spacing with mechanical seeders and more even germination.200 seeds. .
All About Swiss Chard
It also withstands cool temperatures and can be grown from early spring right up to frost.Can I Grow Swiss Chard?Chard Plant Harvesting Tips.See all our swiss chard. .
Chard Seed Starting Tips
If you want to grow chard for harvest in winter, plant it under the cover of a plastic hoop tunnel or cold frame.Direct-sow chard seeds in the garden 5 to 3 weeks before the last spring frost; chard can be started indoors or in a plastic tunnel or cold frame 10 to 8 weeks before the last frost in spring.Chard can tolerate light frosts in the spring and moderate freezes in the fall.Avoid planting chard where beets, spinach, or orach has recently grown.12-10 weeks before the last frost in spring: sow seed in a plastic tunnel or cold frame.5-3 weeks before the last frost in spring: direct-sow seed in the garden; minimum soil temperature is 40°F.8-6 weeks before the first frost in fall: direct sow in a plastic tunnel or cold frame for winter harvest.‘Bright Lights’ is delicious eating, the leaves have vivid reds and yellows.‘Fordhook Giant’ is a good grower with dark leaves and white ribs. .
When to Plant Swiss Chard for Autumn Harvests
As midsummer hits its stride with long, hot days, the production of leafy greens often slows or stops as plants bolt and prepare to set seed.But you can extend the season for fresh, crisp greens with a late planting of cool-season favorites like Swiss chard.Chard comes in a rainbow of brightly hued colors, with a highly attractive ornamental value for the fall garden, as well as outstanding nutrition and kitchen uses.Flavors improve with cool nights, and plants can even withstand a light frost – but not a sustained freeze.A close relative of the beet, it has foliage with an upright growth habit that develops in a fanning form, and has been bred to emphasize the large edible leaves and stems.Cultivars are vividly colored, with orange, pink, red, yellow, and white stems and veins that contrast with and complement lovely leaves of bronze, green, or purple.The immature baby greens add flavor and nutrients to salads and smoothies, and larger leaves are usually enjoyed freshly steamed or added to pasta, rice, soups, and stews.For a fall harvest, direct sow seeds in beds or containers from mid-July to mid-August, or up until about 50 days before your first autumn frost date, depending on the variety that you select.Ideally, you want plants to mature a couple of weeks before the first frost to avoid damage from an early freeze.Young plants are not drought tolerant and inadequate moisture has a detrimental effect on early growth. .
How to Grow Chard Growing Guide
Chard seeds are actually small clusters of seed which will produce from 3 to 5 little plants.You will need to thin out the weaker plants when they germinate and leave only one.Sowing in Modular Trays.Fill the seed tray with compost and brush off any excess.Sow 1 seed per module which will produce 3-5 little plants.Sowing in Drills.Cover the seeds with a fine layer of soil or compost and water in. .