Both leaves and stalks have a sweet, mild flavor, and store well in the freezer. GrowThis.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Swiss Chard grows a tender stalk and has a mild flavor compared to other types. This link is also listed on my resource page along with other helpful information. On the other hand, some say you don’t have to wait for the risk of frost to pass but recommend sowing seed a few weeks before the last spring frost date. The soil should be fortified with lots of organic matter, like mature compost or organic fertilizer before planting. Thin seedlings to about 6 inches apart once they reach 3-4 inches tall. Swiss chard is similar to kale in both shape and texture, however, it is more tender and many prefer its milder, sweeter taste to the often bitter kale. Its leaves are dark green, and its stalks are white. Plus, Swiss chard has the distinction of being chosen to be one of the first foods to be grown in future lunar and planetary space stations!. Chard comes in a number of varieties, each with its own unique characteristics. Some have found that placing a cardboard collar around the base of the plant helps deter them.  Logan S Logendra, Swiss Chard: A Salad Crop for the Space Program, NIH PubMed, accessed 10-05-20, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12481809/, Cabbage Loopers and How to Get Rid of Them, Thank YOU, garden-loving friends, for all of your, Well, it looks like I might get at least one carro, Beet leaves for dinner Delicious and nutritio. If harvested early the dark green leaves are great in salads or even sauteed. Required fields are marked *. Some of the more popular ones are: Rainbow Swiss Chard is variety known for is colorful stems that come in shades of red, orange, yellow, and purple. Once they have grown three or four inches tall, you can carefully thin out the weaker seedlings by cutting them off at soil level, leaving the strongest, healthiest ones. It is also perfect for stews, soups and salads. Snails and slugs are common garden pests that chew on greens, including Swiss chard. Leaf miners are another pest that may attack Swiss chard. If you’re interested in growing a fall crop, sow seeds anywhere between six and ten weeks before the first frost date. WHEN TO GROW Swiss chard is considered a biennial, meaning it will not set seed until its second year. FERTILIZING Alternatively, you can set an inexpensive trap for them by laying a board or a piece of cardboard on top the soil. Leaves are best (sweetest) when harvested in the cool of early spring or late fall. If you make a purchase using this link I will receive a very small commission at no additional cost to you, and it will help me maintain this website. Your email address will not be published. There are a number of varieties of Swiss chard. For best results, sow seeds or set transplants 2-4 weeks before the last frost of the winter. Unlike many other leafy vegetables, Swiss chard grows well in both hot and cool temperatures. in a season if they get enough water! Barese Swiss Chard – produces delicious tender 10″ tall dark glossy green leaves with curled edges. Swiss chard needs a rich, loamy soil to grow its very best. Swiss chard plants can grow up to two feet (60 cm.) Thank you for reading this article! There are as many different opinions as to the best time to plant Swiss chard as there are varieties of chard. Chard can be harvested once it reaches 6-8 inches tall or when the leaves are large enough to eat. Fordhook is considered a “giant” variety that reaches 16″ to 18″ tall. Rest assured that I only recommend products I actually like!). In the morning, you’ll find them taking refuge under the trap where you can collect and dispose of them easily. Or add sautéed chard to omelets and casseroles. It is considered a cool-weather crop that can tolerate a light frost. It can get a bitter taste if it gets too hot, though. The farther apart they are, the bigger the leaves will grow. Here are some tips on how to grow Swiss chard at home. It will grow better in the cooler temperatures of spring and fall. If you are unsure of the first and last frost dates for your area, you can find that information here. However, try “Ruby” for its beautiful, bright red stems, “Orange Fantasia” for its large leaves and orange stems or “Bright lights” for multicolored stems. Mulch to help maintain moisture in the soil and fight root competition from weeds. If you want a continuous harvest, continue sowing seeds every 7-10 days for about a month. Peppermint is a variety that, as its name suggests, has red and white striped stalks. Depending on where you live, you may even be able to grow Swiss chard through the summer, especially if it gets a little shade. Floating row covers may be necessary if pest problems persist. Here is the neem oil I recommend. Swiss chard needs at least 5 to 6 hours of full sun. You can’t beat homegrown chard because it does not transport well, giving most grocery store chard a less than desirable flavor. It can tolerate both heat and cold, and it matures in about 60 days. Do not let the soil dry out. PLANTING When leaves reach about 6″ tall, harvest by cutting the stems of the outer leaves an inch above the soil line, this will allow the inner, and therefore, younger leaves to continue to grow. In some areas, Swiss chard that was planted in the spring will continue to produce during the summer, which makes it a good alternative to spinach and other greens that can’t tolerate the heat. Cercospora leaf spot is a fungal disease that can plague Swiss chard. You’ll need to thin them again, to 12 inches apart once they grow a little bigger. It is also full of antioxidants and phytonutrients, which helps reduce inflammation and helps fight disease development. Be sure to follow instructions on the fertilizer package. Its ribbed stalks can be eaten as well and are similar in taste and texture to a mild celery. Rest assured, I only recommend products I actually like! TIPS & ADVICE Aphids are tiny, soft-bodied insects that attack a wide variety of plants, including chard.