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Growing Swiss Chard

Growing Swiss ChardHow To Grow Swiss Chard

I was never a huge fan of Swiss Chard in the past, until a friend gave me some leftover seeds. So I thought I’d try growing swiss chard myself, why the heck not. To my delight, it tasted incredible – especially when cooked in butter. Ever since, we have been growing swiss chard every single year. It also adds a beautiful splash of color to the garden, so it’s a win-win!

Swiss Chard is actually a beet (believe it or not) which has been bred for it’s big, tasty leaves. It’s a very hearty plant that will usually overwinter nicely, so we usually sow plenty in March-April to keep a continual supply for months to come. So why not try growing swiss chard yourself, even for the beauty of the plant alone?


Planting Swiss ChardPlanting Swiss Chard

You can plant Swiss Chard as early as March, all the way into June. As usual with most greens, when growing swiss chard you'll want to start with good soil. Dig a fair amount of compost or rotted manure into your soil and add some organic fertilizer (follow the instructions on the packaging to find out how much to use for the size of your bed). Plant the seeds about 3/4" deep and 2" apart. Your rows should be about 16"-18" apart. Gently cover your seeds and give them a good watering. Boom, you're done...and well on your way to growing swiss chard!

Caring For Swiss Chard

Caring for Swiss Chard is pretty darn easy, as it has a relatively deep root system so it's somewhat drought tolerant. Many people will even use it for dry gardening! Just be sure you don't overwater and drown your plants. We give it a good watering when the soil is dry down to 1/2". Thin your Swiss Chard to 10" apart, maybe even 12". This will ensure your chard has maximum growth potential and not fighting over nutrients. Being it's a root crop (well not really, but it kind of acts like one), your thinnings usually don't transpant well. If leaf growth seems slow, you can side dress with organic fertilizer, or water with fish fertilizer.

 

Harvesting Swiss ChardHarvesting Swiss Chard

Aaaah, the moment you've been waiting for. Harvesting Swiss Chard is kind of cool, since you can start harvesting leaves at any time once the plants are established. Simply cut a few of the outer leaves at the base with a sharp knife. Remember, sharp clean cuts! This way the inner leaves will continue to grow, become the outer leaves, and regrow new inner-leaves. It's like the magical, ever producing plant!

Swiss Chard Pests

Leaf Miners, Symphylans, Aphids, Slugs, Snails

Swiss Chard Diseases

Downy Mildew, Dampening Off Disease

Swiss Chard Friends

Beets

Swiss Chard Varieties

Fordhook, Rhubarb(deep red color), Bright Lights(red, orange and yellow)

Tips For Growing Swiss Chard

While harvesting Swiss Chard, make sure you only cut the outer leaves at the base. They will re-sprout for a continual supply! Plant a few varieties for a huge splash of color in your garden!

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