How to Plant a Robust Chard Crop from Seed

Swiss chard is a vegetable that isn’t hard to grow and to many people, the leaves are superior to spinach in flavor. Chard is also higher in minerals and vitamins than spinach. This is also true of beet root, because beets and chard are the same species of plant; Beta vulgaris. Chard is quite high in vitamins K, A, E and C and is a very good source of magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, iron and calcium. It is high in fiber, as well. It is great for dieters, too. A cup of boiled chard contains only 35 calories. Here is how you can have a robust chard crop, starting with seeds. Getting started Chard is considered to be a cool weather crop, but don’t let this fool you. This vegetable is frost hardy, however it tolerates hot weather, as long as it gets plenty of water and the soil drains well. Chard will even grow in partial shade, although it loves sunshine. In fact, in summertime heat, it does well if it is shaded from the afternoon sun. For instance, it can be planted on the east side of taller vegetables, such as corn or zucchini. By the time the corn or zucchini is tall enough, the heat of the summer becomes an issue and those plants give the chard a sun screen against the afternoon sun. When to plant chard Since chard is frost tolerant, the seeds can be planted two or three weeks before the last frost. There Continue Reading →

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Using Window Planter Boxes to Grow Swiss Chard

  As I stare out at the falling snow, I’m already planning on how and when I will be planting Swiss chard in window planter boxes. Swiss chard is a wonderful and easy to grow leaf vegetable. Many people describe it as being like a mild spinach. Indeed, it can be used in nearly every way that spinach can be. It grows well in the garden and it is one of the vegetables that tends to grow very well in a window box. Soil Chard grows best in soil that drains well and with plenty of organic material mixed in. This, and the shallow root structure, make it ideal for window boxes since the soil can be easily blended and controlled without back-breaking labor. Simply mix finished compost into regular screened garden soil or all-purpose potting mix. If no compost is available, grass clippings and used coffee grounds make an acceptable substitute, if they are mixed in well. Done in this way, no fertilizing is necessary usually. The soil should reach within a half-inch or so from the top of the window box so the growing medium will be far enough from the top that it can be adequately watered. Temperature Swiss chard is a cool weather crop that should be planted from seed if at all possible, since it doesn’t like being transplanted. The seeds germinate, normally within two weeks, if the soil temperature is 55 to 65 degrees, F. The plant will withstand temperatures down to freezing, but Continue Reading →

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