How 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 ChardYou 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 ChardCaring 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.