Bonnie Plants Swiss Chard is called “Bright Lights” - as pretty as it is tasty. Grows best in full sun, but will tolerate partial shade and even appreciates it in spring in hot climates. Highly nutritious, the leaves taste a lot like spinach, but this plant is a member of the beet family.
Large leaves with a prominent, flat wide mid-rib grow in an upright rosette that is beautiful in a bed or container. Frost tolerant. Harvested chard freezes well.
- Light Full sun to part shade
- Leaf size 18 to 24 inches
- Matures 45+ days
- Plant spacing 12 to 18 inches apart
Light requirements: Full sun to part shade. Protect plants from strong afternoon sun in warmest regions.
Planting: Space 12 to 18 inches apart.
Soil requirements: These greens need moist, nutrient-rich soil. Amend soil with 4 to 6 inches of compost or other organic matter prior to planting. Soil pH should be 6.0 to 6.8.
Water requirements: Keep soil consistently moist throughout the growing season. Aim for 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week through rainfall or irrigation. Mulch to reduce water evaporation and keep leaves clean from splashing soil.
Frost-fighting plan: Established plants tolerate light frosts (28 to 32º F). It’s a good idea to protect newly planted seedlings from late spring or early fall frosts by covering plants with a frost blanket.
Common issues: Cercospora leaf spot and downy mildew may attack leaves. Watch out for aphids, mites, and caterpillars.
Harvesting: Harvest leaves whenever they’re large enough to eat. Younger leaves are more flavorful and tender. Older leaves tend to be tougher; cook these for best results. Pick outer leaves first, and the plant will continue to produce new inner leaves.
Storage: Refrigerate unwashed leaves in a lightly damp paper towel slipped into a very loosely closed plastic bag. Leaves store up to 14 days.