UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA


Garden Help > Vegetables

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Pest management: Leafminers and aphids 

The Basics

When to plant: Sow directly or transplant in spring (February through May) and in early fall (September through October). Vegetable Planting Chart

Harvest window

  • 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).

Care overview

  • 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.



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