Swiss Chard (Beta vulgaris)

When to Plant

Sow directly in the garden in the spring once the last of the hard frosts have passed.

Location/Soil

Plant in full sun.

The addition of organic matter prior to planting is an excellent way to increase soil quality by improving nutrient levels, increasing moisture retention in the soil as well as soil aeration.

It is best to break up any large clumps of soil prior to planting and rake the soil to obtain the optimal soil structure.

Planting & Growing Information

Sow seeds 13 mm (1/2″) deep and 2.5 cm (1″) apart. Rows should be spaced 45 cm (18″) apart. When seedlings are approximately 5 cm (2”) tall, thin the seedlings to 10 cm (4″) apart.

Seeds germinate in approximately 7-10 days.

Days to Maturity

From date directly sown in garden.

Other Information

Grown for their leaves and stems where the leaves are eaten like spinach and the colorful stems are cooked like asparagus. Small leaves are a colorful addition to salads as well.

Water regularly for optimum growth which also helps reduce the likelihood of plants bolting (going to seed).

Leaves of Swiss Chard are very decorative and can easily be added to containers or flower gardens for a wonderful effect with the added bonus of harvesting a healthy vegetable that can be eaten fresh in salads or lightly steamed with butter.

Harvesting & Storage

Harvesting can occur in a few ways. The whole plant can be cut away approximately 2” from the ground and the entire plant will grow again or just remove the outer larger leaves and leave the inner young leaves to keep growing and harvested later.

Swiss Chard does not store well for a long period of time and should be eaten the same day of picking or stored inside plastic bags the refrigerator and used in 3-4 days.

Companion Planting

Likes: Beans, Cabbage, Onion, Tomato