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 Plant and Grow Swiss Chard
But instead of featuring a well-developed and flavorful root, its claim to fame is glossy puckered leaves veined with bright white, orange, magenta, red, or yellow, with firm stalks to match.Think spinach meets celery under neon lights, and you have a pretty good description of this colorful and nutritious vegetable.Successful cultivation requires a location that gets full sun to part shade, with soil that is organically rich and well-draining.Also, they note that chard is not “day-length sensitive,” a botanical phenomenon called “photoperiodism.” This is why it’s less prone to bolting, or prematurely setting seed, than other leafy greens like spinach and lettuce.With its glossy leaves and vivid, multi-colored stems, it makes an eye-catching focal point in beds, borders, and containers, especially in the autumn garden, as the last blossoms of summer fade.The word “Swiss” was added by the 19th century to help seed catalog shoppers differentiate chard from French spinach.You may find it listed for sale as “decorticated” or “pelletized,” meaning the rough edges have been made smooth, so it passes more easily through seeding tools.When selecting varieties to plant, consult seed packets for information on mature dimensions, to plan your beds or containers appropriately.Leafy vegetables benefit from nitrogen supplementation, so consider a well-balanced, slow-release fertilizer if you decide to forgo the test.If you choose to pot them, provide containers with good drainage holes and a depth of at least 12 inches.Choose a smaller-stature variety, and trim leaves as soon as they reach six inches, to encourage more leaf than root growth.Prepare your garden soil to a depth of about 12 inches, working in any recommended amendments, and fertilizing if you so choose.Water and maintain even moisture, never allowing the soil to completely dry out during the plants’ acclimation to their new location.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.Good choices for sharing space with B. vulgaris are members of the brassicas and cole crops, like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, radishes, and cabbage.Other excellent companions include chamomile, coreopsis, lettuce, mint, nasturtium, and sweet alyssum.In addition, having refreshing birdbaths and welcoming birdhouses attract feathered friends that also feed on insect pests.Avoid planting corn; cucurbits like cucumber, melon, and pumpkin; and potatoes nearby for the reasons stated above.The standard cultivar has a smaller stature, with stalks from 8 to 10 inches tall, making it a perfect container gardening choice.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.Even with the best intentions, during the growing season, you may have to deal with hungry critters, bugs, and infection, so here’s what to watch for and how to handle each.Animals such as deer, ground hogs, and rabbits may come a-nibbling, so consider planting in raised beds, and beneath floating row covers, to keep them at bay.If plants become targets due to poor soil, drainage, spacing, or weed control, you may encounter the following:.And second, they may make your vegetable their home, laying eggs, nourishing ravenous appetites, causing damage or death, and wintering over to do it all again next year.And if you see bugs and eggs on your plants, hand pick them, or dislodge them with a steady stream of water from your garden hose.While not prone to disease, conditions like over- or under-watering may make it susceptible, resulting in damaged plant tissue and growth deformity.It does tolerate humidity, but B. vulgaris that is planted too closely, or in soil that doesn’t drain well, or both, may succumb to:.The beet leafhopper loves sunny locations, so planting in partial shade my deter this virus-carrying pest.An organic fungicide may halt the spread of fungus, but roots that succumb to oversaturation don’t usually recover.If you keep some soil attached, you may store them in a cool, moist location for continued growth and harvests into the winter.Alternatively, cut individual stems, or shear off the entire plant at the soil level, for one final harvest of the season.Another way to optimize your crop output is to use floating row covers to retain warmth right into winter.However, if your plants winter over and return the following spring, you may have the pleasure of seeing tiny green flowers set seed at the end of the second growing season.When most of the pods look brown, remove entire stalks of them and lay them in open paper bags in a dry location.Separate them from the chaff and store them in jars, or zippered plastic bags, in a cool, dry location.Chard is an excellent source of copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, and potassium, and vitamins A, C, and K. The most colorful varieties offer anti-inflammatory betalains.And more mature leaves make a refreshing and colorful alternative to lettuce and celery, when cut up separately in salads.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.Try this Indian Daal with Seared Chicken Breasts for an aromatic dish fortified with the anti-inflammatory benefits of golden turmeric.If you’re looking for a quick prep brunch dish that’s a little out of the box, loaded with vegan nutrition, and packs a cayenne zing, serve your guests this tasty fritter that can be either a main entree, an appetizer, or a side.The pairing of gently wilted greens and tender onions with crisp nuts and chewy raisins is a textural feast for the palate that always satisfies.They make an excellent substitution for asparagus, removing its earthy high note and replacing it with sweetness.To enjoy it at season’s end, simply dig up the entire plant, slice off the roots, rinse and prepare.
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. .
Growing Swiss Chard Plants
Plant Swiss chard in the spring, 2 to 4 weeks before the last frost date.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.Harvest Swiss chard any time the leaves are large enough to eat.Apply organic mulch such as compost, finely ground leaves, wheat straw, or finely ground bark to keep the soil cool and moist and to keep down weeds.Mulching will also help keep the plant leaves clean, reducing the risk of disease. .
How to Grow Swiss Chard
Plant chard also in summer for a fall harvest.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.Planting Swiss Chard.Plant chard also in summer for a fall harvest.Sow chard seed ½ inch deep from 1 to 2 inches (2.5-5cm) apart.Crowded plants may tend to bolt and go to seed more quickly.Container growing chard.Plant 2 or 3 plants in a container.Remove leaves with significant leaf miner damage and look underneath leaves for a row of pearl-white eggs; destroy them.Harvesting Swiss Chard.Chard will be ready for harvest in 55 to 60 days from sowing.Pick outside leaves as early as three inches long but before leaves grow to10 inches long.Harvest chard on a cut-and-come-again schedule; remove a few outside leaves at a time.If you harvest the whole plant, cut it back to about 3 inches (7cm) above the soil and it will grow back. .
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.Direct sow any time from early spring to mid-summer.Days to Maturity: From direct sowing.Swiss chard prefers loose, deep, and fertile soil that is rich in organic matter.For salad mix, seed more densely and cut as baby leaves.Seed Info.Per 100′ row: 220 seeds, per acre: 64M seeds. .
Chard or Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris subsp.vulgaris, Cicla Group and Flavescens Group) ( ) is a green leafy vegetable.In the cultivars of the Flavescens Group, the leaf stalks are large and often prepared separately from the leaf blade; the Cicla Group is the leafy spinach beet.Koch (Cicla Group), B. vulgaris subsp.cicla L. , B. vulgaris var.Koch (Flavescens Group), B. vulgaris subsp.vulgaris (Swiss Chard Group)). They are cultivated descendants of the sea beet, Beta vulgaris subsp.The two rankless cultivar groups for chard are the Cicla Group for the leafy spinach beet, and the Flavescens Group for the stalky Swiss chard.Growth and harvesting [ edit ]. Raw chard is extremely perishable.Cultivars of chard include green forms, such as 'Lucullus' and 'Fordhook Giant', as well as red-ribbed forms such as 'Ruby Chard' and 'Rhubarb Chard'.In the Northern Hemisphere, chard is typically ready to harvest as early as April and lasts through May.It is one of the hardier leafy greens, with a harvest season typically lasting longer than kale, spinach, or baby greens.Nutritional content [ edit ]. .
Grow Swiss Chard
Swiss chard and beets are the same species, and they require a period of overwintering in order to set seeds.Downy mildew can be a problem for Swiss chard when grown close together as baby greens.Birds also enjoy the leaves, but protecting new seedlings under row covers can deter them.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.At seed maturity, plants of this species take up a fair amount of garden real estate.Depending on the scale of seed collection, individual seedstalks can be cut or entire plants can be pulled from the garden and moved to a place where they can continue drying.Depending on the percentage of ripe seeds at harvest, 7 to 14 days should be a sufficient drying period.Small lots and cut branches can be processed by running a gloved hand along the length of the stalk with a container placed underneath to catch dislodged seeds; stalks should be discarded once they are stripped of seeds.Larger lots and whole plants can be placed in large tubs or on tarps and treaded upon.When stored under cool, dry conditions, beet seeds can be expected to remain viable for 5 years. .