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Care for Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard are hardy vegetables and will grow with little or no attention.

Their main need is for weeding. This can be done by regular hoeing. An alternative is lay black plastic and let the plants grow through this. Black plastic is particularly useful for Swiss Chard because they stay in the ground for so long.

If conditions become really dry in summer then they will appreciate a good watering. That's about it for this excellent vegetable.

Harvesting Swiss Chard
Whenever you harvest Swiss Chard, use a knife rather than pulling off the leaves. Grasp the leaves you want to harvest with one hand and cut them off at about 3cm / 1in above the point where they join the stem. This will ensure that more leaves grow. If you take the leaves off too near the stem then the leaves may not grow again.

The best leaves for salads are the younger leaves, about 8cm /3in long. They are tender and have no bitter taste. If you want to cook leaves as greens then leave some outer leaves to grow larger and harvest those.

In winter the outer leaves may be damaged by a hard frost. If this happens, leave the outer leaves in place to protect the inner leaves. The inner leaves can then be harvested for use in salads throughout the winter.

Pest and Diseases
Swiss Chard is almost disease and pest free which is excellent news. Occasionally they are eaten by slugs but this is rare. Click here for information on slugs.