Chard is very easy to grow either on the ground or in pots. They grow fast, and you can harvest them for over a year. It is an excellent plant to try your hand at.
Chard is resistant to most pests as well. There are colored varieties, but they all taste the same. They are close relatives to beets, and you can plant them simultaneously. Although they prefer 8 hours of sun, they do well with 6 hours of direct sun and some shade.
It is good to start seedlings in August/September and then transplant them. They are not tricky.
They like to have space between them. I recommend leaving at least 20 cm (a foot) between plants if you only plan to harvest the leaves outside. If you plant them close to each other, you have to harvest the entire plant.
For seedlings, the first thing is to soak the chard seeds overnight or 24 hours before planting. This helps them germinate. Plant a seed in each pot to a depth of 1 cm. more or less, and cover with soil and water every day until the first leaves appear. Use potting soil or seed starting mix. Do not use soil from your raised beds or garden beds. When the seedlings measure about 10 cm. (5 inches), transplant them to the fertilized and prepared bed. Remember to space them 20 cm between each plant.
Water periodically to keep the soil moist and fertilize once a month. When the outer leaves are grown, always harvest the outer leaves, leaving the inner leaves to continue growing and producing. Cut the leaves with a knife or scissors as close as possible to the “trunk” of the plant. Remove the withered leaves and throw away to maintain production.
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