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 Colorful Swiss Chard Microgreens Without Nasty Seed
Like beets, Swiss chard microgreens often retain the hard, bark-like seed husk on the leaves as they grow.Swiss chard microgreens aren't the easiest to grow, but follow our steps and overcome one of the most common mistakes.Listen to an Audio Version of the Article We don't just read the article word for word in the audio version; it's a stand on its own piece of content that includes more details on the topic.These can include more tips, opinions, details, data, and information on this and related topics.If you've read our articles on seed density, you know that seeding density comes down to the number of plants per square inch of planting surface based on the finished size of the microgreen.Since home growers are more concerned with growing nutritious microgreens than those that sell them.What makes this a little more challenging, like beets, Swiss chard seeds often produce more than one plant.So our first initial go-around was more or less a guess based on our previous results with Bull's Blood Beet microgreens.In the end, we recommend to use 6.2-grams of Ruby Red or Golden Sunrise Swiss Chard for our Home Microgreens Tray.Notice that the trays' soil level is not at the top like we usually plant microgreen seeds.Not to improve germination, but rather, the seed husks will be removed as the plant forces its way through the soil.A weight is placed on top to push the lid onto the soil surface.Then the tray and weight are covered with a tea towel or some other fabric to exclude light.The trays are left like this for 5-days to let the Swiss chard seeds germinate and start to push up through the soil.Mist them with water if the soil is light brown and appears dry.Then carefully place the covers back on the trays and leave them for two more days.Notice the middle tray, the Fantasia Orange Swiss chard microgreens, as expected, plant density is lower than the other as predicted by the seed size.No fancy grow light; in fact, the Swiss chard microgreens shown in this article were grown under two 4,000K cheap shop lights bought years ago at a box store.Subscribe to get updates and we'll let you know when we have results on Fantasia Orange Swiss Chard Microgreens.Be patient as they take some time to emerge from the soil and grow large enough to be placed under the lights.Do those three simple things, and you'll be rewarded with beautiful Swiss chard microgreens.Besides their stunning colors, Swiss chard microgreens have an interesting flavor.We also use them on tomatoes that have been drizzled with balsamic vinegar and with fresh mozzarella cheese.Such as lutein, reported to help protect your eyes and skin from macular degeneration and also has inflammatory properties.Also, chard microgreens are reported to lower blood pressure and help with digestion.Swiss chard microgreens contain vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc. .
Chard's a Good Pick Year-Round
Answer: Swiss chard is one of the easiest vegetables to grow and can survive year-round in Southern California.(If properly stored, Swiss chard seeds remain viable for four years.).Harvest by cutting away a few of the fully expanded outer leaves from each plant once they are 7 to 9 inches tall.Like most greens, it is important to keep the soil evenly moist, because fluctuations between wet and dry can leave them tasting bitter.There are several colors of chard available, including golden yellow, bright scarlet and green and white.For a color and taste sensation, try ‘Bright Lights,’ a seed blend with rainbow-colored stems and tasty green or burgundy leaves.They are involved with a variety of outreach programs, including the UCCE Master Garden hotline, which provides answers to specific questions. .
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. .
Growing Swiss Chard, the Most Versatile of Greens
Chard isn’t fussy about light - it tolerates the dappled afternoon shade under the edge of the apple tree.It doesn’t bolt when the weather gets hot, stands up under a bit of frost (when large), is stunningly beautiful, is relatively disease-free, and is one of the best-tasting and versatile greens there is.Swiss chard is a biennial, meaning that under normal conditions, it will grow the entire first season without going to seed.It’ll die back to the roots when it freezes in the fall, but as long as it doesn’t get below 15 degrees F, it will come back from the roots the second year, when it sends up a flower stalk, makes seeds and then dies.But here's a tidbit I learned the hard way about growing Swiss chard: if you start it from seed indoors, make sure you wait until all danger of frost has passed before planting it out.Swiss Chard When they all come up, snip of the smaller one(s), so that the biggest one won't have competition.The second way to harvest chard is to cut the entire plant off a few inches above the base. .
Swiss Chard: Nutrition, Health Benefits, and How to Cook It
Although kale is often deemed the king of greens, Swiss chard is equally impressive for its wide array of nutritional benefits.This article explains everything you need to know about Swiss chard, including its nutrients, health benefits, and potential downsides.Swiss chard is a leafy green belonging to the Chenopodioideae family, which also includes beets and spinach ( 1 ).Grown worldwide, it’s prized for its ability to grow in poor soils and its low need for water and light.There are many types of Swiss chard, some of which have colorful, jewel-toned stalks and veins that make this vegetable particularly pleasing to the eye.What’s more, Swiss chard is a good source of iron, copper, potassium, calcium, and vitamin E. This green is not only loaded with nutrients but also extremely low in calories, so it’s a great option to help you maintain a moderate weight.Summary Swiss chard is low in calories and high in magnesium, iron, potassium, and vitamins A, C, and K.Potential health risks Though Swiss chard can be a nutritious addition to the diet for most healthy adults, some people may need to limit or moderate their intake.To help prevent kidney stones, try to stay hydrated, limit sodium intake, and get enough calcium ( 32 , 33 ).To help prevent kidney stones, try to stay hydrated, limit sodium intake, and get enough calcium ( , ).Summary Swiss chard contains certain nutrients and compounds that some people may need to limit, including vitamin K and dietary oxalates.Here are a few tips to consider when purchasing Swiss chard: Look for bunches that have brightly colored stalks and smooth leaves.Though buying conventional Swiss chard may be more cost-effective, some people may prefer purchasing organic varieties due to concerns about pesticide exposure and long-term effects on health ( 36 ).It has an earthy, somewhat bitter taste when consumed raw and a slightly sweet, milder flavor when cooked.You can wrap Swiss chard in a damp cloth or paper towel and store it in an unsealed bag in the refrigerator.Then, plunge the Swiss chard into ice water to stop the cooking process and drain it thoroughly before placing it in a plastic bag, removing as much air as possible, and freezing it.It prefers cool or moderate weather, full to partial sunlight, and loose, well-draining soil.You can start harvesting Swiss chard once the plant is 6–8 inches (15–20 cm) tall by cutting the outer leaves.Be sure to sever at the base of the plant using scissors or a knife and avoid damaging the terminal bud.