When to plant: Sow directly or transplant in spring (February through May) and in early fall (September through October). Vegetable Planting Chart
- Outer leaves can be harvested continuously as soon as the plant is well established.
- Harvest by cutting or breaking away a few of the outer fully expanded leaves. New leaves develop in the center of the plants.
- Harvest can continue for months until the plant bolts (sends up a flower stalk).
- Chard is closely related to beets and needs similar care
- Chard seeds are actually seed-clusters, so you typically get multiple seedlings from a single seed. Thin to the strongest one.
- Common chard pests are leafminers, that leave twisting whitish trails on the leaves, and aphids, typically found on the backs of the curling leaves.
Recommended Varieties for Santa Clara County*
|Bright Lights, OP||Gorgeous stems are red, yellow, gold, orange, white, pink, violet, and striped. Delicious and tender. Multicolored stems and leaves make a wonderful show. 18–24" tall. Plant 12–18" apart.|
|French White, OP||Thick green leaves are large and tender, on huge, white stalks that are very wide and delicious. Heavy yields because leaves are so large. 18–24" tall. Plant 12–18" apart.|
|Golden Sunrise, OP||Beautiful thick golden stems and savoyed green leaves hold color well during cooking. Excellent flavor, never tough or bitter. 18–24" tall. Plant 12–18" apart.|
|Peppermint Stick, OP||Beautiful chard with hot pink and white striped stems, delicious as well as ornamental. 18–24" tall. Plant 12–18" apart.|
Other recommended varieties: Argentata, Fordhook Giant, Italian Silver Rib, Rhubarb Chard
*Many other varieties may also do well here in Santa Clara County. This list is based on UC Master Gardener trials, taste tests, and feedback from local growers.