Chard (Swiss chard, Spinach beet) (Beta vulgaris var. vulgaris)


Amaranth family (Amaranthaceae)

Chard (Swiss chard, Spinach beet)
glyphicon <%# Eval("Title") %> Seeding: from end of March to beginning of July
glyphicon <%# Eval("Title") %> Planting: mid May
glyphicon <%# Eval("Title") %> Distance: 30.0 cm x 15.00 – 20.0 cm
glyphicon <%# Eval("Title") %> Height: 10 – 30 cm
glyphicon <%# Eval("Title") %> Harvest: If sown: 8 weeks after seeding, if planted: from June to October. Not before June and not after October
glyphicon <%# Eval("Title") %> Habitat: sunny
glyphicon <%# Eval("Title") %> Good Neighbours: Brussels sprouts, Bush beans, Carrots, Kale, Pointed cabbage, Radish, Radish, Red cabbage, Savoy cabbage, White cabbage
glyphicon <%# Eval("Title") %> Bad Neighbours: Beetroot, Spinach, Turnips
glyphicon <%# Eval("Title") %> It's possible to grow them in batches at intervals of time. Chard can be sown more densely than usual.
Require an average level of nutrients
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There are numerous varieties with different coloured leaves (pale, yellow, light to dark green) and with different coloured stems and ribs (white, green, yellow, orange, pink, red, dark red).

  • Leafy chard
  • Stem chard (e.g. Bright Lights has colourful stems and is very robust)
Both the leaves and the stems are edible. Chard should only be eaten when cooked. There are however varieties of leafy chard where their young leaves can be used fresh for salads.
This plant contains an extraordinary amount of vitamin K.


It prefers a position in full sun, in loose soil which is rich in nutrients.


Propagate by sowing seeds.


Brussels sprouts, Bush beans, Carrots, Kale, Pointed cabbage, Radish, Radish, Red cabbage, Savoy cabbage, White cabbage


Beetroot, Spinach, Turnips


Plants that are well suited for next year cultivation:

Broad beans, Broad beans, Bush beans, Celery, Leeks, Runner beans, Sweet corn


The following plants should not be planted in the following years:

How many years: Not to plant:
5 year(s) Beetroot, Chard, Spinach


Overwinter chard by heaping up sandy soil and covering with foliage, a fleece or spruce brushwood.


Chard can be grown as a biennial. If will only flower in its second year. Soak seeds for 24 hours.

  • Hoe regularly
  • Water during dry periods
  • Mulch with stinging nettles
  • Fertilise or spread compost each time that leaves are harvested.
The leaves will only be tender if the soil is kept moist.


Diseases: Mildew is often a consequence of insufficient spacing
Preventative measures:
Maintain the minimum spacings


Harvest the outer leaves (always twist them off), leave the small leaves at the heart and do not take the whole plant so that new leaves continue to sprout. Harvest chard about 3 cm above the soil level.


If wrapped in a moist cloth or loosely packed in a plastic bag, chard can be kept for two to three days in your fridge's vegetable cooler.
Chard can also be frozen. It will then keep for 8 to 12 months.
Please note:
Chard contains nitrates. Bacteria and moulds can convert nitrates to nitrites, which can be carcinogenic. This is why chard should not be kept at room temperature for a longer period of time.


Chard contains a respectable amount of minerals, particularly iron, phosphor, potassium and magnesium as well as vitamins including vitamins C and A, which are significant for good vision.
Chard leaves are used like spinach and the stems and ribs in the leaves are used like black salsify. The leaves are good by themselves or together with Parmesan cheese & chopped pine kernels.
Large chard leaves can be used instead of cabbage e.g. for stuffed cabbage.
Please note:
You should not warm chard up nor keep it warm on the cooker as it contains oxalic acid.
Oxalic acid lowers calcium levels in the body so especially people with kidney problems, kidney stones, pregnant women and children should not eat chard too frequently and should ideally drink a glass of milk with it.


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