Growing Swiss Chard
Swiss Chard is a member of the beet family and very easy to grow. It's a great source of Vitamin C, K & A. It's easy to grow and tolerates mild freezes and is grown as a summer green. Both leaves and stems are edible. Swiss Chard requires 8-10 hours of sunlight daily.
Before planting, soak Swiss chard seeds in warm water for 15 minutes to speed up germination. Sow seeds 1/4-inch deep and a few inches apart directly in the garden when the soil is at least 50°F.
Sow the seeds in rows 8 to 10 inches apart. In both cases cover the seeds with 1/2 inch of soil. Thin the seedlings 4 to 6 inches apart as soon as they are large enough to be pulled out. For an earlier crop, start seedlings indoors. Cover the seeds with 1/2 inch of potting soil and keep them in a warm place with good light. Note: Many photos online show Rainbow Swiss Chard, or Red. Make sure you check the seed package for they type of Chard you'd like to grow.
Plant Swiss chard seeds 2 to 3 weeks BEFORE the last spring frost date. Continue planting seeds at 10-day intervals for a month. For a fall harvest, plant chard seeds again about 40 days before the first fall frost date. Before planting, mix 1 cup of 5-10-10 fertilizer into the soil for every 20 feet of single row.
Once the plants grow and are a couple of inches tall, thin them to about four to six inches apart. When the growing swiss chard plants are 9 to 12 inches tall, you can start harvesting them by cutting the outer leaves. Swiss Chard can grow up to 2ft tall.