Ease of Growing [Scale 1-5] - 1 (Easy)
How Time Consuming
Very little at all after planting apart from watering.
- ‘Bright Lights’ AGM – very colourful mixture of reliable varieties. Harvest as baby leaves for salads.
- ‘Rhubarb Chard’ AGM – High yields from this striking red leaf stalks.
Home Grown Vs Supermarket
Always fresher to grow your own, plus you have the advantage of seeing the colourful leaves growing in your vegetable plot.
Best Sites and Soils
Prefers an open sunny site on fertile soil but will tolerate some shade in summer. Will be in the ground over a long period so it is important to improve the soil before planting.
When to sow
Either in late spring for a summer and autumn crop or late summer for a winter crop.
Distance between rows - 30cm (12”) apart
Distance between plants - 45cm (18”) apart
When to harvest
Harvest regularly when leaves are at the required size from 10 weeks after sowing.
Watering / Feeding - Don’t let the soil dry out or the plants will bolt. No additional feeding necessary during the growing season.Close
Guide to sowing and planting - Sow directly where the plants will grow or raise seedlings in trays or pots and transplant when big enough to handle.
Sow every two weeks if you want to produce mini-leaves.
Cover plants for overwintering in October with cloches or protect the crown with straw, then cover with fleece.
Problems to look out for - Chard is relatively pest and disease free.
May bolt in warm weather or if leaves are not regularly cut, but plants are vigorous so will quickly grow back again after being cut back.
Downy mildew or grey mould (Botrytis) can be a problem in densely sown ‘cut and come again’ crops. Seedlings suddenly collapse.