How to grow: Swiss Chard

Close up of Swiss Chard roots in the ground.

Swiss Chard is worth growing just for its decorative leaves and stems. A clump could be grown in the flower border and not look out of place. The stems and the leaves can be eaten with the leaves making a tasty alternative to spinach.

Swiss chard is a crop for autumn, winter and spring harvests at a time when there is little else around. It grows in a clump about 45cm (11⁄2ft) high and wide.

Varieties

‘Bright Lights’

A fabulous mixture of different coloured chards will create a rainbow of stems. This is simply gorgeous to grow and just admire without even eating. The stems in this mixture will be white, red, yellow and orange. When the winter’s sun is low and catches the stems from behind, they light up like coloured light bulbs.

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A small bunch of swiss chard laid on a white background.

Growing Tips

Sowing/Planting

Swiss chard is not too fussy about soil but it will prefer a sunny spot. Sow chard direct where you intend to grow it in a seed drill about 2.5cm (1in) deep.

Once the seedlings are through, thin them out to about 10cm (4in) apart and then again when they are bigger to 30cm (1ft) apart.

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