Swiss Chard Care: How To Grow Swiss Chard In Your Garden
How To Grow Swiss Chard?
Switzerland chard is one of the most popular vegetables in America. If you are a gardener or even if you are not, then chances are that you have at least heard of it. It’s probably because it grows well here and its taste is very good too!
Growing Swiss chard in your garden is a great way to add some color and variety to your landscape. You will be able to grow it year round without any trouble.
It takes little effort from you since you don’t need much space either. And what’s more, it produces a nice yield of delicious greens every time!
What Is Swiss Chard?
Swiss chard is a member of the mustard family (Brassicaceae). It belongs to the same family as cabbage, kale, collards and other members of the mustard family. These include mustard greens, turnips, bok choi and others.
The leaves of Swiss chard are usually greenish-yellow in color with dark veins running through them. They are oval shaped and smooth except for their tip which has a sharp point.
The leaves themselves can grow up to four inches long. They have a thick stem which is leaf-like too, except for its hollow tube like structure.
How To Grow Swiss Chard In Your Garden?
Before you begin growing your Swiss chard you need to make sure that your soil is fertile, rich in organic matter and well-draining. Also, keep in mind that it grows best when the temperature is between 40 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
It is very easy to grow, all you need to do is plant your chard seeds in well-draining soil. Keep the soil temperature around 70 degrees Fahrenheit so that the seeds can germinate.
If the temperature is lower than this then you should use grow lights or some other means of adding heat.
After planting make sure that the soil doesn’t dry out and keep the area well-watered. You should keep the soil moist at all times and add some water if it begins to dry out.
Now, we will tell you how to grow Swiss chard in a pot as well as in your garden:
1. Growing In Your Garden:
If you want to grow your Swiss chard in your garden, all you need to do is plant the seeds in a location that receives 6 hours of sunlight every day. You should make sure that the location you choose doesn’t get more than 4 inches of rainfall every year.
Add some fertilizer to the soil before you plant your seeds and then make rows which are about 18 inches apart. Then, plant your seeds within the rows and cover them using soil.
Keep the soil moist at all times and water it whenever necessary.
As your plants grow taller, add some support for them to climb up so that they don’t flop over. You can do this by placing a trellis or pole near them which they can use to climb up.
You can harvest your leaves as soon as 16 weeks after the time you planted your seeds. If you want to get a bigger yield you can plant 2 or 3 plants per 1 square meter area and then harvest them when their leaves are about 6 inches long.
2. Growing In A Pot:
If you want to grow your chard in a pot, then all you need is a 5-gallon container which has drainage holes at the bottom. You should fill the container up with potting soil mixed with compost and keep the soil moist at all times.
You can plant several seeds in the pot as long as they have enough space to grow. Again, you should keep the soil moist and harvest your leaves when they are about 6 inches long.
How To Harvest Your Swiss Chard:
You can harvest your chard when its leaves are about 4 to 8 inches long. Cut off the leaves at the base, just like you would cut off the leaves from a rose bush.
You can keep doing this as many times as you want until the plant stops producing leaves.
The best time to do this is in the morning or late evening since the plant will have enough time to replenish its lost leaves. Just make sure that you don’t remove more than 1/3 of the plant at any time or it may weaken and die.
You can also cut off the top part of the plant and allow the roots to re-grow. While some people do this to encourage bushy growth, others do it so that they have chard throughout the year.
Sources & references used in this article:
Application of high Cu compost to Swiss chard and basil by VD Zheljazkov, PR Warman – Science of the Total Environment, 2003 – Elsevier
The effects of composts produced by a simple composting procedure on the yields of Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris L. var. flavescens) and common bean (Phaseolus … by DC Smith, V Beharee, JC Hughes – Scientia Horticulturae, 2001 – Elsevier
Source‐Separated Municipal Solid Waste Compost Application to Swiss Chard and Basil by VD Zheljazkov, PR Warman – Journal of environmental quality, 2004 – Wiley Online Library
Long‐term sludge applications on cadmium and zinc accumulation in Swiss chard and radish by AC Chang, AL Page, JE Warneke – Journal of Environmental …, 1987 – Wiley Online Library
Field evaluations on soil plant transfer of lead from an urban garden soil by …, GM Hettiarachchi, A Harms… – Journal of …, 2014 – Wiley Online Library
Biosafety of hybrids between transgenic virus‐resistant sugar beet and Swiss chard by D Bartsch, U Brand, C Morak, M Pohl-Orf… – Ecological …, 2001 – Wiley Online Library