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How to Grow Swiss Chard

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Swiss chard or Rainbow chard (Swiss chard with color) is one of our family’s favorite vegetables. It’s so easy to grow, requires little maintenance and can thrive in a pot or in the ground. Its beautiful colors add charm and visual appeal to your garden which no eyes can resist. When we cook it for guests it’s always a big hit! Nothing beats fresh Swiss chard from the farmers’ market or enjoyed from your own garden.

1. Planting:

  • Purchase starter Swiss chard at a nursery and plant in the spring.
  • In March and April, you may find it sold at the Farmers’ markets as starter kits.
  • You can also start seedlings indoors a few weeks before the last frost is anticipated.

2. Caring:

  • Use rich soil
  • In the spring and fall it typically doesn’t require daily watering. In the heat, be sure to water daily.

3. Prevent Pests with Plant Companions:

  • Marigolds can help prevent soil borne pests
  • Chives can help prevent aphids (plant lice). We grow regular chives and garlic chives near our Swiss chard.
  • Some gardeners recommend planting onions near Swiss chard.
  • When gardening, check for caterpillars or bugs and remove them from leaves by hands.

4. Harvest:

  • When leaves are fully grown, cut stems at the base of the plant so that new leaves can grow back quickly.
  • Weather permitting, you may be eating from the same plant from spring to late fall.

5. Cook it:


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