Swiss chard is a semi-hardy vegetable that grow best in cool weather with lots of sun. Unlike many greens, chard will tolerate warmer temperatures without bolting or going to seed.
Swiss chard can be planted directly in the garden 4 weeks before the frost date.
To harvest swiss chard sooner, start seeds indoors 10 weeks before the frost date, or purchase transplants.
Transplants are ready when they have 4-6 true leaves. Harden off and transplant outside 4 weeks before the frost date.
Plant seeds directly in the garden 11 weeks before the frost date, or continue to grow plants from spring.
If daytime temperatures are still over 80°F, start seeds indoors 11 weeks before the frost date, or purchase transplants (if available).
Harden off and transplant outside 7 weeks before the frost date, or as soon as daytime temperatures are below 80°F.
The plants will mature more slowly in the fall because the days are shorter. If you provide some protection, you can continue harvesting after the first fall frost.
If you live in a mild climate with no fall frost date, you can plant swiss chard from seed and grow it all during the winter.
Soil and Fertilizer
Swiss chard grows best in rich soil; amend with lots of compost and fertilizer (chemical or organic) at planting and once during the season, twice if growing late into the fall.
Fertilizer: 16-16-8 at planting and once or twice during the season
Harvest outside leaves as soon as they are 6-10″ long. If seed stalks develop, pinch them off to prolong the harvest. Swiss chard will produce throughout the growing season.
- Swiss Chard Reference Sheet (Utah Extension Service)