Swiss Chard

  • Sun: Full Sun/Part Shade
  • Leaf Size: 18 to 24 inches
  • Days to Harvest: 45 days
  • Plant Size: 2 wide and tall

Swiss chard tops the charts of both beauty and taste, and it’s a breeze to grow. Swiss chard is a member of the beet family but tastes similar to spinach. One of the few greens that doesn't mind heat, you can start it in spring and harvest all summer and into fall until frost. The stalks of Bright Lights grow in a rainbow of colors—yellow, red, pink, white, and orange. They are beautiful paired with solid pansies in a container.

Plant Spacing: 12-18 inches apart. Plants Per Person: 4 to 6 for eating, or 8 to 10 for use in cooking as well as arrangements and color in the garden.

Secrets to Success »

Plant Swiss chard starting in spring about two to four weeks before the last frost, but be prepared to protect it from a hard frost. Plants tolerate a light frost. Fertilize with Bonnie Herb & Vegetable Plant Food as needed to encourage new growth as you harvest.

Harvest and Use »

Cut outer stalks throughout the season, or cut the entire plant to an inch above the soil (the plant will grow new leaves). Swiss chard stores well in freezer bags. Use entire leaves as a base for serving chicken salad, or tear leaves to add color to a fresh salad. Saute with garlic for a side dish, or use in a variety of recipes, including as a sub for spinach in lasagna. Also play with Swiss chard in flower arrangements (remember to use a clear glass vase to show off the stalk color).

Try these garden companions »

  • Butternut squash and leeks or onion for fall and winter recipes.
  • Mint, which adds another layer of flavor to Swiss chard.
  • Leaf lettuce and pansies for a pretty and color-rich container combo.
  • Hardy herbs, including rosemary, sage, thyme, and parsley.

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