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.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. .
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. .
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. .
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.Plants mature in 50 to 75 days, depending on the cultivar, and frequent snipping encourages new leaf formation.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.Succession planting until mid-August can help to extend your harvest, provided freezing temperatures remain at bay. .
How to Grow Swiss Chard
wide Sun Exposure Full, partial Soil Type Rich, moist, well-drained Soil pH Slightly acidic (6 to 6.4) Bloom Time Summer Flower Color Yellow Hardiness Zones 6–10 as biennial, 3–10 as annual (USDA) Native Area Mediterranean.Direct sow seeds outdoors about two weeks before your projected last spring frost date.This plant likes an organically rich soil with good drainage.It can take a light frost, but you will lose your plants if the temperature dips below freezing for more than a brief period.Humidity typically isn't an issue as long as its moisture needs are being met and there's good air circulation around the plants.'Fordhook Giant': This variety has great flavor and is a vigorous grower with greenish-white leaves.To enjoy your harvest, you can chop it up in salad or lightly cook it as a wonderful side dish.Chard also makes a hearty replacement for spinach, and the stems can be grilled or roasted in place of asparagus.The pot doesn’t have to be especially deep, as the plants have pretty shallow roots.Use a quality organic potting mix, and keep the soil lightly moist and never waterlogged.Slugs will also chomp on chard; they'll put holes in the leaves and tunnel into the ribs.Providing good airflow and removing affected leaves will help to keep this disease to a minimum. .
7 of the Best Companion Plants to Grow with Chard
It tends to mind its own business, content to grow colorful, tender, upright stalks of leafy, healthy goodness without much extra effort on your part.Just like the juglone from black walnut trees, sunflowers can also be allelopathic, exuding chemicals from their roots, leaves, and stems that may be harmful to nearby plants.Taking advantage of the plant’s phytotoxic properties, sunflower leaf extracts have even been tested as natural herbicides against many weeds, including lamb’s quarter, another member of the amaranth family and a relative of Swiss chard.Some growers successfully grow sunflowers in their gardens with no perceived ill effects, so this may be a combo you want to try before you totally rule it out.However, to make crop rotations easier, you may still want to group members of the same family together, but create buffers between different plants with herbs, lettuce, alliums, or marigolds, to confuse and slow down pests.And all members of the cucurbit family – squash, melons, gourds, and cucumbers – also make bad neighbors for chard, according to tradition. .
Growing Swiss Chard for Fast Reliable Harvests All Season Long
A member of the beet family, with a mild, spinach-like flavor, Chard is easy to grow and adaptable.It has a long tap root and can endure hot, dry days if you mulch it well to retain soil moisture.Chard can withstand light frost and is considered a cool weather crop.Swiss Chard is harvested by taking the outside leaves and allowing the plant to continue growing.It can withstand frosts down to -5 C, and if you give it a row cover will recover from colder temps.In zone 5 to 7 chard can be grown under a cloche or in a low tunnel during the winter months.Chard is a mainstay in my garden, here at 2700 feet with frost expected every day during the growing season.While the leaves are eaten, it is in the same species as the garden beet (beetroot), which is grown primarily for its edible roots.Popular among Mediterranean cooks, our finest varieties can be traced back to Sicily.Fordhook Giant was introduced in 1934 and gives you the most vigorous growth with succulent white stems and huge leaves, in fertile soil.Rhubarb Red chard has deep crimson stalks and leaf veins contrasting beautifully with dark green heavily crumpled leaves.Canary Yellow Swiss chard seeds bring cheerful color to spring and winter gardens.Peppermint chard has magenta to pink ombre petioles with dark, glossy green leaves.The extra plants can be thinned for salad greens or carefully pulled up and replanted in another bed.Add some compost tea twice during the growing season, about a month apart and you will get an abundant harvest from a small patch of chard.Chard comes in a variety of stem colors from white, red, golden-yellow, orange and green.The stems can be served like asparagus, chopped for soup or stews, and added for color to salads.Instead, treat it like corn and cook it the day you pick it and you will be rewarded with a sweet, buttery flavor and succulent texture.Dried or frozen chard can be added to winter soups, stews, and pasta or rice dishes with ease.During the growing season, only pick what you can easily preserve that day, and you will have delicious leafy green vegetables all winter.You can have it ready in 15 minutes including the time it takes to step out to the garden and bring in a basket of delicious and nutritious Swiss Chard.coconut oil Instructions Wash the organic lemon, grate the zest and reserve.Briefly sauté green onions, chives and fresh oregano leaves in 1/2 tsp.Notes Lemon juice makes some of the nutrients in leafy greens more bioavailable to the body.This simple sautéed Swiss chard recipe is a family favorite that comes together quickly.Briefly sauté green onions, chives and fresh oregano leaves in 1/2 tsp. .