Swiss chard is in the beet family but unlike the beet, which is grown for the edible root, chard is grown for the tender foliage. Vitamin rich and nutritious, home gardeners growing chard are rewarded with its succulent, mild-flavored leaves that can either be eaten raw or cooked like spinach.
Chard is best grown in soil that is rich in organic matter, fast draining and high in nitrogen. It requires full sun (but tolerates partial shade) and regular water. Work well composted manures or blood meal into the soil to boost nitrogen levels. Foliar applications with an all-purpose organic fertilizers and kelp 2-3 times during the growing season will boost production.
How to Plant:
Make your first plantings directly into the garden two to four weeks before the last expected frost. Sow seed 1/2 inch deep and 1-3 inches apart. Thin rows as plants mature and eat the tender shoots in salads. Chard is a prolific grower and can tolerate mild frosts. (more…)