Chard or Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris)
How to plant and grow swiss chard (Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris)
Swiss chard is a plant of the same species as beetroot, but whose cultivars were selected to harvest its leaves and thus to not produce a large root. Its leaves can be of various colors, with petioles (leaf stalks) white, green, yellow, orange or red. Petioles may or may not be large (Group of cultivars Flavescens and group of cultivars Cicla respectively).
Plant profileCommon name: Chard, Swiss chard
Scientific name: Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris, Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris
Plant type: Vegetables
Sunlight: Full Sun, Partial shade
Moisture: Well drained
The leaves can be eaten raw, braised or cooked.
Where does chard grows best?
Chard prefers to be grown in a mild climate, with temperatures between 15°C and 19°C, but it can be grown both in a slightly colder climate, being resistant to light frosts, and in a warmer climate.
Chard needs good light to grow well, with at least a few hours of direct sunlight daily. In warm regions it should be grown with partial shade in the hottest hours of the day.
Printable Vegetable planting calendar (PDF). Get your free copy!
What type of soil does chard prefer?
The soil for planting chard must be well drained, fertile, rich in organic matter and rich in nitrogen.
The prefered pH range is 6 to 6.8, but the chard is very tolerant of soil pH, with the exception of soils that are very acidic.
How often should I water swiss chard?
Water in order to keep the soil always moist, without being soaked.
How to plant
Sow the chard seeds in the final place or sow in sowing trays and transplant when the seedlings reach approximately 5 cm in height.
The seeds can be left in a container with water for 24 hours to facilitate germination.
Remove invasive plants that are competing for resources and nutrients.
The chard leaves can be harvested between 60 and 85 days after planting. Usually, only the outer leaves that are well developed are harvested, although young leaves can also be harvested for use in salads. Depending on the growing conditions, the harvest may continue for a few months.
Chard is a biannual plant.