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Fruit and Vegetable Gardening A-Z: Swiss Chard

A Guide to Gardening, Growing, and Harvesting Edibles
  -- By Jenny Sigler, SparkPeople Contributor
Swiss chard (also known as silverbeet, Indian spinach, leaf beets, or sea kale) has tender leaves that can substitute for spinach in many recipes. It is popular in the garden because it is bolt-resistant and very easy to grow.

Hardiness Zones:
5-10 (Find your hardiness zone.)

When to Plant:
Directly sow seeds outdoors in mid spring.

Conditions:
Prepare the site several weeks prior to planting with potash or wood ash. Enrich the soil with plenty of compost, as chard needs adequate nutrition to thrive. It prefers full sun but can tolerate some shade.

Space Needed:
Each plant should be 10-12 inches apart in rows 2 feet apart.

Maintenance:
Swiss chard requires adequate amounts of water to grow well.

When to Harvest:
You can pick leaves after they have reached around 6 inches in length, usually about 60 days after sowing. For a continuous harvest, only pick the outer leaves.

Average Yield:


Continuous Yield:
Yes

Life Cycle:
Annual

Difficulty Rating (1-5):
1