Fertilize with an organic fertilizer such as fish emulsion at half strength. When the seedlings are about 2 inches tall, thin them by using scissors and cutting out the extra plants, leaving 9 inches to 12 inches between the remaining seedlings. Direct-sow chard seeds in the garden 5 to 3 weeks before the last spring frost; chard can be started indoors or in a plastic tunnel or cold frame 10 to 8 weeks before the last frost in spring. google_ad_client = "ca-pub-1934664575271128"; ‘Charlotte’ has cherry-red stalks, and savoy, dark green leaves. Chard prefers a soil pH between 6.0 and 7.0. If you … A second crop can be planted in late summer for fall harvest. Swiss chard seeds are special in that they can germinate in relatively cold soil, as low as 50 F. (10 C.). How to Store Harvest, Cure, and Store Winter Squash. Cut plants back to about 3 inches (7 cm) above the soil in late summer; the plant will produce new leaves for autumn harvest. //-->. Keep the soil moist until seedlings are well established; once plants are established mulch with straw to keep the roots cool and moist. Swiss chard varieties to try ‘Bright Lights’ RHS AGM – with rainbow-coloured stems and green and leaves of green or bronze. Your email address will not be published. 12-10 weeks before the first frost in fall: direct-sow in the garden for fall harvest. ‘Argentata’ is flavorful with crisp leaves. You can even use the big ones to wrap “cabbage” rolls. Privacy Policy. Keep the soil evenly moist until seeds germinate. When to Sow Swiss Chard Seeds. Seed germinates in 5 to 7 days at or near 60°F to 65°F (16-18°C)—but sometimes seed can take up to 3 weeks to germinate if the soil is cold. To speed up germination, soak seeds in room temperature water for 24 hours before planting. Good for harvesting into the late autumn months, it can also be overwintered for an early spring crop ‘White Silver’ RHS AGM – with thick white stems and dark green leaves this is a classic Swiss Chard. Seeds germinate in soil with temperatures above 50°F, but struggle to sprout if soil temperatures are consistently in the 80s or above. ‘Fordhook Giant’ is a good grower with dark leaves and white ribs. google_ad_height = 250; In very hot climates, you can start seeds indoors for planting out when the temperatures cool down. Soak seeds overnight before sowing to hasten germination. Sow seeds 1 inch (2.5cm) apart; later thin seedlings to 6 inches (15cm) apart; use the thinnings in salads. ‘Bright Lights’ is delicious eating, the leaves have vivid reds and yellows. The colourful stems can be cooked like asparagus. Direct-sow chard seeds in the garden 5 to 3 weeks before the last spring frost; chard can be started indoors or in a plastic tunnel or cold frame 10 to 8 weeks before the last frost in spring. If you want to ensure a steady supply of chard, you can use succession planting, sowing new seeds every couple weeks, to lengthen the harvest time. 12-10 weeks before the last frost in spring: sow seed in a plastic tunnel or cold frame. The succulent leaves of Swiss chard can be used much like spinach. Chard can be grown from seeds or transplants.