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Growing Swiss Chard For
A Long Season Harvest

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Fast Growing Swiss Chard Produces Sweeter Tasting Leaves

Growing Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable that can grow more than two feet tall and two feet wide. The leaves are supported by broad, stout stems. They vary in color, depending on variety, ranging from light green and white for the most common to different shades and combinations of orange, purple yellow and red in the more colorful varieties.

The leaves, of all varieties are a shiny dark green color, ribbed and with a crinkly texture, they can grow to be more than a foot long and almost as wide and are an excellent source of vitamins.

Photo of picked mature brussel sprouts

Roll-over image to enlarge

Chard can be grown by direct sowing seed or transplanting seedlings.

Swiss chard will produce over a long period of time and unlike many other vegetable greens is quite tolerant of hot summer conditions.

The colorful varieties of Swiss chard are often used in flower beds and ornamental pots where they certainly make for very appealing eye candy. However these colorful ribbed varieties although very attractive in the garden, don’t produce as well in terms of productivity or resistance to bolting like the more common green-white varieties.



Quick Reference Guide


Veggie Garden Dairy
Vegetable Swiss Chard
Also Known As Chard - Silver Beet
Botanical Family - Chenopodiaceae, Genus - Beta, Species - B. vulgaris
Plant Type Cool season - biennial - leafy vegetable
Frost Tolerance Hardy
Planting Position Sunny position but welcomes shade in the hottest part of the season - requiring a minimum of 3-4 hours of direct sunlight daily.
Seed Viability 4 years
Germination 7-14 days at 40-80 F (4-27 C)
Growing Temp 50-70 F (10-21 C)
Seed to Transplant 5-6 weeks
Planting Method Direct sow or Seedling transplants
When to Plant Spring and again in mid-summer for fall-winter harvest
Time to Plant As soon as 2 - 4 weeks before the average date of the last 32 F (0 C) freeze in the spring in your area but not before soil temperatures are consistently 40 F (4 C) and above.
Seed Sowing Direct sowing swiss chard seeds - 1/2 inch (12 mm) deep - 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) apart in rows 18-24 inches (45-60 cm) apart
Plant Spacing Transplant or thin seedlings 12-18 inches (30-45 cm) apart in rows 18-24 inches (45-60 cm) apart
Soil Conditions Well drained - High organic matter - Medium fertility
Fertilizer Medium fertilizer needs, 3-4 quarts per 100 sq feet (3.3-4.4 liters per 9.3 square meters) preplanting of All-Purpose 5-5-5 Organic Fertilizer icon, same rate for each side dressing.
When to Fertilize 2 weeks before sowing or transplanting - when transplanting use liquid starter fertilizer - side-dress every 3-4 weeks
Days to Harvest 55-65 days - depending on conditions and variety.
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