The Trick To Growing Swiss Chard All Summer Long
chard is always sown outdoors (I guess you could do it inside if you
wanted to but why bother when it is so easy to grow in the garden)
outside as soon as the ground can be worked safely (without compacting
the soil) and sow every two weeks from mid April until mid June. After
this, it starts to get too hot to really grow this kind of leaf
vegetable (leaves get bitter).
Sow seed one half
inch deep and several seeds to the inch.
Thin the seedlings
when they are two inches tall and leave spacing at four inches
apart. Use the thinnings in salads as they are quite
When the remaining plants start to touch
each other, pull every second one so the final spacing is a plant every
I usually pull them as they mature and just
start to touch and pick the smaller of the two so I'm always
pulling out the weaker plant (and eating it). I
don't have a "system" but rather I go
down the row and look for smaller heads that are being dwarfed by
nearby plants. Those get eaten first.
August, trim off all the browning or poor looking leaves and give a
liquid fish emulsion fertilizer.
The boost in performance will give a
lot of new fresh growth that you can harvest for the rest of the summer
and right up until a snowfall knocks off the plants. They are very
hardy and will bear right through all early frosts.
water this plant right through the heat of the summer. If you neglect
to water it, you'll find the central stalk will go
"woody" and will stop producing new and succulent
Swiss chard is a good
alternative to spinach because it tends to continue producing right
through the heat of the summer (if watered) where spinach does not grow
well in the heat. And Swiss chard resists bolting much better
Swiss Chard Problems
Problems are the same as any of
the cabbage family. Watch for green cabbage worms all summer and aphids
on early plants.
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