The succulent leaves of Swiss chard can be used much like spinach. You can even use the big ones to wrap “cabbage” rolls. The colourful stems can be cooked like asparagus. Enjoy the small leaves in salad. They grow easily and well in our climate and stand in the garden for many months, giving a long harvest from one planting. Follow along with this handy How to Grow Swiss Chard from seeds Guide and grow food.
Beta vulgaris var. cicla
We Recommend: Celebration Swiss Chard (SW753) is the variety of choice for those who want to sample a bit of everything. Its combination of wild colours will bring dramatic visual appeal to any garden.
For Urban Growers: Give Peppermint Swiss Chard (SW763) a try this season in any large container. Aim for relatively vigorous root growth and a pot size of 5 gallons or more. It’s pretty enough to treat as an ornamental – and then you get to eat it!
Season & Zone
Season: Cool season
Exposure: Full sun
Direct sow mid-April to early August. Chard is moderatly winter hardy. Optimal soil temperature: 10-30°C (50-85°F). Seeds should sprout in 7-14 days.
Sow seeds 1cm (½”) deep, spaced 10-30cm (4-12″) apart in rows 45cm (18″) apart.
Ideal pH: 6.0-6.5. Swiss chard prefers loose, deep, and fertile soil rich in organic matter. Plenty of consistent moisture is required, especially as plants grow larger. It grows best in full sun, but will tolerate light shade in summer. A liquid fertilizer or compost tea applied twice during summer will keep chard growing well.
For salad mix, seed more densely and cut as baby leaves. Cut individual mature stalks using the large outer ones first.
In optimal conditions at least 75% of seeds will germinate. Usual seed life: 3 years. Per 100′ row: 220 seeds, per acre: 64M seeds.
Beans, Brassicas, and onions make the best companions for chard.
More on Companion Planting.