Swiss chard, or Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris, is a leafy green vegetable that is easy to grow in your garden. To grow Swiss chard, start by planting seeds in well-drained soil and keep them consistently moist. Once the plants begin to grow, thin them out to 6 inches apart and fertilize every 4-6 weeks. Swiss chard can be harvested when the leaves are young and tender.
It is a great source of vitamins and minerals, and can be used in a variety of dishes such as salads, soups, and stir-fries.
This bountiful beauty brings color, nutrition, and a touch of gourmet to your garden. It’s a beginner-friendly crop, offering a delightful journey from seed to harvest with the right care and attention.
In this post
- Growing Conditions for Swiss Chard
- How to Plant Swiss Chard
- How to Grow Swiss Chard in Pots
- How Long do Swiss Chard Take to Grow
- How Big do Swiss Chard Get
- How Much Sunlight do Swiss Chard Need
- How Much Water do Swiss Chard Need
- Fertilizing and Mulching Swiss Chard
- How to Harvest Swiss Chard
- Pest and Disease for Swiss Chard
Growing Conditions for Swiss Chard
Swiss Chard is quite hardy, thriving in USDA hardiness zones 3-7. It loves a location with full sun but will also tolerate partial shade. Well-draining soil is key, with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. It’s a cool-weather crop, and early spring or late summer are the best times to plant. Chard can withstand a mild frost, but a hard freeze might damage it.
How to Plant Swiss Chard
Swiss Chard is commonly grown from seeds. It’s simple: sow seeds directly into the soil about half an inch deep, spacing them about 12 inches apart. Each seed is actually a cluster, so thin them to one plant per spot when they’re about 3 inches tall.
How to Grow Swiss Chard in Pots
Growing chard in pots is an excellent option if space is limited. Use a container at least 12 inches deep filled with good quality potting soil. The steps are the same as direct soil planting, but keep in mind container plants usually require more frequent watering.
How Long do Swiss Chard Take to Grow
On average, Swiss Chard takes 50-60 days to mature. Providing ideal growing conditions, ensuring good soil fertility, and consistent watering can help speed up growth. On the contrary, lack of nutrients, water, or sunlight can slow it down.
How Big do Swiss Chard Get
Swiss Chard can reach up to 1-3 feet tall, with a similar spread. Its colorful, ample leaves make for an attractive garden display.
How Much Sunlight do Swiss Chard Need
Chard loves sunlight. Ideally, it should get 5-6 hours of full sun per day, though it can tolerate partial shade.
How Much Water do Swiss Chard Need
Chard prefers moist soil. Water it regularly, about 1-1.5 inches per week, depending on the weather. Signs of underwatering include wilted or dry leaves, while yellowing or dropping leaves may indicate overwatering.
Fertilizing and Mulching Swiss Chard
A balanced compost or organic fertilizer is generally enough for chard. Fertilize at planting and then every 4-6 weeks. Mulch helps retain moisture and keep weeds at bay.
How to Harvest Swiss Chard
Harvest chard leaves when they’re young and tender, usually when they’re about 8-10 inches long. Cut leaves from the outside, allowing the center to continue growing.
Pest and Disease for Swiss Chard
Leaf miners, aphids, and slugs are common pests for Swiss Chard. Diseases include fungal leaf spots and downy mildew. Keeping your plants healthy and rotating crops are the best preventative measures. If pests or disease do strike, use organic or synthetic insecticides or fungicides as appropriate.