Growing Swiss Chard Techniques, and Tips
Hello gardeners, today we came up with a topic of growing Swiss Chard. This article also covers Swiss Chard Plant Care, Swiss Chard Planting Procedure, and Harvesting of Swiss Chard. Why wait, let us dive into this.
Chard is the one which belongs to the family of beets. This is also called Swiss chard and is considered to be a vegetable which is versatile and also nutritious. Chard is rich in the content of Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Most of the people will have questions like is swiss chard a perennial. Yes, swiss chard sometimes behaves like a perennial where it lives for many years. It also has a rich amount of antioxidants and this can be consumed raw or it can also be cooked in recipes. A patch of chard will also help in brightening up your backyard garden with its leaves which are ornamental as well as colorful. If you are planning for the plantation of chard in your backyard, the great news is that it is very simple to grow once the preparation of soil and the arrangements of seeds or seedlings is done as soon as possible. You can also consider growing chard in pots and growing swiss chard indoors.
Selecting Chard for plantation:
- There are three important types of chard which you can select for plantation. One is white-stemmed chard, the second one is colored chard and the third one is perpetual chard. The chard which is having white stem is generally the one which is the most productive. But the chard which is colored are the ones which are attractive and they can be considered for ornamental options. The chards which are perpetual will have the taste like spinach.
- The white-stemmed chard like Silverado and Fordhook giant are generally the ones which are most tolerant to the climatic conditions which are cold and hot than all the other types of chard.
- The colored varieties of chard like the Pink passion, Orange Fantasia and the Golden sunrise are the ones which will be coming in the shade of the colors pink, yellow, red, orange and generally, these are the ones which will be growing a bit tall. You can also try to find some seedlings or seeds which will only consist of one shade and the others which will offer a combination of colors.
- The varieties of chard which are colored are the ones which are generally the least cold hardy, so they are the ones which will do their best in climates which are in between warm and mild.
- The varieties of chard which are perpetual will produce the leaves which taste mild over a more extended season of growing. These varieties of chard will be able to tolerate heat in a very good way. So considering these perpetual varieties of chard will be a good idea for the climatic conditions which are warmer.
Taking a call on seedlings or seeds for Growing Swiss chard:
- When you are considering the plantation of chard, you can start them either by seeds or seedlings. Seedlings are nothing but the young plants which can be bought from any of the nurseries present in your locality. The main advantage when you choose plantation of chard from seedlings is that there is no need for you to wait till the development of plant and you can start enjoying the chard as much quickly as possible.
- When you buy the seedlings, it will save much of your time. Moreover, when you plant the chard from seeds, it is very much less in terms of cost and you will generally have a large number of varieties to select from.
- In the climatic conditions which are warm or mild, make sure that you are not running into trouble by planting your chard from seeds.
- In the climatic conditions where there will be a very quick difference between cold and warm seasons, it is generally better to consider the plantation of chard from seedlings.
Preparation of soil for chard planting:
- If you want to chard to grow very well, the main thing is to provide it with a soil which is prepared in a proper manner. Several weeks prior to planning the plantation, dig across the area of plantation for removing any sort of weeds or rocks which are large. You will need to also mix some amount of compost and also organic fertilizer as per the rates percentages which are present on the label. The mixture has to be allowed to sit for 20 15 to 20 days so that the soil will have some time to get sufficient air and moisture.
- Chard will grow to its best in the soil which has its pH in between 6 to 6.8. So it means that it prefers the soil which is slightly acidic. You can also buy the soil pH test kit to assess your backyard garden. You can find this soil pH test kit in your local garden center.
Planting Method of Swiss chard:
- For the harvest to be successful, you will need to space the chard in a proper manner. For seeds, you will need to start planting them in terms of rows approximately at a distance of 3 to 5 inches. If you are starting with seedlings of chard, then you will need them to be planted in rows approximately at a distance of 12 inches from each other.
- When you have started the creation of rows for the purpose of planting chard, always ensure that they are at least at a distance of 12 to 20 inches from each other.
- If you have started the planting with seedlings, you will have to thin them out for getting the distance in a correct manner
- When you are almost prepared for the plantation of chard in the soil, it is very essential to place it at the correct depth. If you are going with seeds, you will need to start planting them at a depth of ½ inch approximately. If you are planting the seedlings, then you will need to start planting them at the level of the surface of the soil.
- You will have to be alert about the number of swiss chard seeds you are planting. The rule you will need to follow here is that you will need to plant 8 to 10 seeds for every one foot present in the row.
Care and maintenance of the Swiss chard:
- Watering the chard in a consistent manner is very essential and it would help the chard to grow in a better manner and also to avoid swiss chard growing problems. Always make sure that you are sticking to a regular schedule and applying at least 1 inch of water per week if there is no rain in your locality. It is always better to position a rain gauge in your backyard garden so that you will know how much you are watering your plants and later, adjust the watering accordingly.
- The chard has to be given a sufficient amount of water as this will help in the prevention of getting a taste which is bitter.
- Make sure that you are adding an organic mulch around the base of the plants so that it will help them in retaining the moisture so that they will grow in a better manner. Compost, leaves which are grounded in a fine manner, straw or ground bark are the ones which will work very well as mulch.
- When to harvest the Swiss chard is a major question. We can generally conclude that the chard is ready for the harvest as soon as the leaves of chard are large enough for consumption. The plants should be at a length of 8 inches, though the varieties of chard which are colored might be taller. The outer leaves which are at a length of at least 1 inch from the ground level have to be cut by making use of a sharp knife.
- If you are very careful at the time of harvesting chard, the inner leaves which are young will continue to grow in place of the outer leaves which you have cut. So a new harvest will already be prepared for the future purpose.
- If you want to harvest the entire chard plant at a time, the stems have to be cut at 3 inches above the level of ground of the plant. This will let the leaves to grow again.
- It will take at least 5 weeks to 12 weeks for the chard to be prepared for the harvest.
- As soon as you harvest the chard, bring the chard to the indoor locations for rinsing it by making use of cold water. This water will help the leaves to cool and will also help in the removal of any insects, dirt or any other sort of debris from the surface of the leaves. Take some time for examining chard after you rinse it and make sure that the leaves are clean. Especially, the insects will cling to the lower side of the leaves.
- The leaves of chard have to be placed on a piece of paper towel after you rinse them to take off any excess water.
- A refrigerator is considered to be the best place for the storage of chard. Chard will survive up to 15 days when placed in the refrigerator. Always ensure that chard leaves are dried completely and then, you will need to keep them in a plastic bag which is ventilated. It is always better to store them in a crisper drawer if it is possible.
- You can also consider freezing chard if you are not using it earlier. It has to be kept in boiling water for about two minutes and then you will need to place it immediately in cold water for blanching it. Dry them in a thorough manner and place them in containers which have airtight lids or freezer bags which are made of plastic. This will last up to 12 months if kept in the freezer.
That’s all gardeners about growing Swiss Chard techniques, tips, and ideas. Keep growing veggies.
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