Bright Lights Swiss Chard Guide
Who would think chards and beets come from the same family? Either way these rainbow beauties are laden with nutrients, vitamin A, C, K and make a great side or a delicious addition to soups, stews, salads, casseroles, and quiches.
Swiss chards grow well in a wide range of temperatures between 40°F-95°F. They do great in containers and gardens. Bank on Seeds recommends direct seeding.
If Direct Seeding
- Direct seed outside 2 weeks before last frost date; or
- Direct seed into a container 8-10 inches deep and wide anytime of the year. It can be placed outside when the temperature is between 40°F-95°F; or
Begin the growing season early and start the chard seeds indoors in pods 4 weeks before the last frost date; germination is best between 65°F-80°F. It can be transplanted outside 4 weeks later.
Sow 2 seeds ½ inch deep and 4 inches apart with rows spaced 8-12 inches apart. Germination will take 5-10 days.
Thin the seedlings to 8 inches apart if they start competing for space or light.
Swiss chard likes well-draining soil rich in compost. They also love full sun and regular watering. Water every week in the first 4 weeks. Once established, water moderately, letting the soil dry before watering again – check the top 2-3 inches and if dry, then water the soil.
Option to add aged compost onto the top layer of soil or mix into the soil for continued nutrition for the plants. 5-10-10 fertilizer can be applied every 3-4 weeks but is not necessary.
Bright Lights swiss chard is full grown (mature) in 30-45 days. Pick the leaves as needed to use fresh or cut stems and bundle them upside down to be used dried. More leaves will continue growing in its place.
Aphids, cutworms, cabbage looper and worms, flea beetles, slugs – handpick, neem oil, insecticidal soap, companion plant or spray with pesticide containing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)
Downy mildew, damping off - do not water from overhead, keep free of weeds, ensure enough air circulation, cut off affected parts, fungicide, neem oil, rotate crop every 3 years
*Companion plant swiss chards with beans, cabbages, kale, cauliflower, thyme, and onions. Avoid planting with most other herbs, corn, cucumbers, and melons. *