Chard grows best in cool temperatures; high temperatures will slow down leaf production. To get an early start, sow chard indoors as early as 3 to 4 weeks before the average last frost date in spring for transplanting out when plants are 3 to 4 inches tall. Once established chard will tolerate heat and frost. Plant "Swiss chard days to maturity" 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 Swiss chard days to maturity and leaves and stalks can be harvested several times over the course of a season on a cut-and-come-again schedule. Grow chard in full sun; chard will tolerate partial shade. Chard grows best in well-worked, well-drained soil rich in organic matter, although chard does not favor soil that is too acidic.
Chard grows best in a soil pH of 6. Sow chard in the garden 2 to 4 weeks after all frost has passed in spring. In mild-winter climates, chard can be grown through the winter. Planting and Spacing Chard. Thin successful seedlings from 8 to 12 inches apart.
Space rows 18 to 24 inches apart. Chard grows from seed cluster several seeds to a cluster, similar to beets. Clusters are likely to produce several seedlings so thin to the strongest seedling once plants are 3 inches tall.
Cut the weaker seedlings off at soil level with a small scissors. Chard can grow crowded, but leaves will be smaller. Crowded plants may tend to bolt and go to seed more quickly. Water and Feeding Chard. Keep chard evenly moist for quick, tender growth. Prepare planting beds with well-aged compost in advance of sowing. Side dress chard with aged compost at midseason.
Chicory, garlic, leeks, mustard, onions. Avoid growing chard with legumes, potatoes, or tomatoes. Chard will grow in an 8-inch pot. Plant Swiss chard days to maturity or 3 plants in a container. In larger containers, set chard in wide rows on 8-inch centers. Pick older, outside leaves first and allow young, tender leaves to grow on.
Aphids and leaf miners will attack chard. Control aphids by pinching out the affected leaves or hose them away with a blast of water. Leaf miners feed on the inside of leaf surfaces. Remove leaves with significant leaf miner damage and look underneath leaves for row of pearl-white eggs; destroy them.
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. Older leaves will have an earthy flavor.
Harvest chard on a cut-and-come-again schedule; remove a few outside leaves at time. If you harvest the whole plant, cut it back to about 3 inches above the soil and it will grow back.
Chare that over winters can be harvested again the second year. Dark green, crumpled leaves: Argentata 55 days ; Fordhook Giant 60 days ; White King 55 days. "Swiss chard days to maturity" 60 days ; Ruby Red 55 days ; Vulcan 60 days. Dark green smooth leaves: French Swiss Chard 60 days ; Green 60 days ; Perpetual 50 days. Giant Lucullus 50 days ; Lucullus 50 days.
Storing and Preserving Chard. Chard will keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. Remove the stem and chard will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Chard Seed Starting Tips. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Leave a Reply Cancel reply. Plant chard also in summer for a fall harvest. Dark green smooth leaves: French Swiss Chard (60 days); Green (60 days); Perpetual (50 days). Swiss Chard contains over % of RDA -grow some.
I harvest every 7 – 10 days by picking the outer leaves from a few different plants with. degrees F. Sowing depth: 1/2 inch: Days to maturity: days 12 inches tall: Growing tips: swiss chard becomes tough if allowed to overgrow, so cut.