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All About Swiss Chard

Chard is a close relative of beets. It is often grown as a summer substitute for spinach because of its tolerance for warm temperatures.
It also withstands cool temperatures and can be grown from early spring right up to frost.


Swiss chard prefers rich, well-drained soil in full sun or light shade. In the North, sow from early spring to midsummer for a fall crop; in the South sow in fall to spring. Sow the seeds 1/2 inch deep in rows spaced 18 inches apart. Thin seedlings to 12 inches apart when they are large enough to handle.


Plants are rarely bothered by pests and diseases and grow easily.



Use thinnings as salad greens. Harvest outer leaves as needed, when they are more than 6 inches long. Cut the leaves about 1 inch from the ground.  Harvest continually to keep the plants productive.

Before the first hard freeze in fall, dig up the plants with the roots still attached, and with some soil covering the roots. If you store the plants where it is cool and moist you can keep harvesting from them during the winter.



Use as a green, either cooked or raw. Use the leafstalks with the leaves, or cook the stalks separately like asparagus.

See all our swiss chard

Read the next Article: Asparagus

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Gardening Tip of the Day

  • Although popular, braiding garlic bulbs to hang in the kitchen for their ornamental value is not the best way to preserve the wonderful flavor of this cooking essential. Here’s a way to store garlic that not only retains flavor but actually improves it!
    Peeling garlic cloves can be bothersome if you only need one clove at a time. Instead, peel the whole bulb, and then store the extra cloves in a jar filled with olive oil. The garlic will stay fresh for months in the oil, and you can even use the flavored oil for salad dressings and sauces.
    Use a decorative jar, some ribbon and a sprig of fresh spruce or pine for a creative holiday gift!