How to Grow Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is a hardy, nutrient-dense leafy green that�s easy to grow and highly versatile in the kitchen. Here�s how to cultivate Swiss chard using organic methods.

What You Need

  • Swiss chard seeds
  • Rich, well-draining soil
  • Compost
  • Watering can or hose

Choosing Varieties

Swiss chard comes in various colors and sizes:

  • Rainbow: Mix of red, yellow, and white stalks.
  • Fordhook Giant: Large, dark green leaves.
  • Bright Lights: Vibrant stems and leaves.

Soil Preparation

Swiss chard prefers fertile, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0-7.5:

  1. Loosen the Soil: Till to a depth of 8-10 inches (20-25 cm).
  2. Add Compost: Mix in 2-3 inches (5-7.5 cm) of compost.

Planting Swiss Chard

Sow seeds directly in the garden or use transplants:

  1. Spacing: Plant seeds 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) deep, 12 inches (30 cm) apart.
  2. Rows: Space rows 18 inches (45 cm) apart.

Watering and Mulching

Keep the soil consistently moist:

  • Watering: Water regularly, especially during dry periods.
  • Mulching: Apply mulch to retain moisture and suppress weeds.

Organic Fertilizing

Swiss chard benefits from regular feeding:

  • Use compost tea or a balanced organic fertilizer every 2-3 weeks.

Harvesting Swiss Chard

Harvest leaves when they are young and tender:

  • Method: Cut outer leaves, allowing inner leaves to continue growing.

Storing Swiss Chard

Store Swiss chard properly to maintain freshness:

  • In the Fridge: Store in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer. Use within a week.

Tips and Tricks

  • Sow seeds every few weeks for a continuous harvest.
  • Use row covers to protect against pests.

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