Growing Swiss Chard: the Colorful Spinach Substitute

Last year, I started growing swiss chard for the first time. I only grew several plants because I wasn’t for sure if I would like the taste or not. Anywhoo, it grew like crazy and I was able to make one dish with it. I cooked it like spinach, sauteeing it with some olive oil and garlic. After it wilted a little, I added some lemon juice and red pepper flakes. It was a great side dish. Swiss chard is such an easy plant to grow and the varieties are endless. They have a variety called rainbow swiss chard and the colors are amazing. They’re a perfect addition to any vegetable garden or a side plant in the front yard. They’re a vegetable that I can’t live without. What do you guys think about this one?

This year, I was determined to grow continuous crops of swiss chard. The first batch, I started in January. January 1st to be exact. They took a week to sprout and grew like mad. At first they were leggy and spinly but after a couple of weeks, they grew thick stems and strengthened up really well.

Swiss Chard Seedlings at 31 days 02-04-08

I moved them outside in the ground in an area that gets late morning sun, a couple of weeks before my last frost, around February 11th. They looked so puny and defenseless. To protect them from critters like the dreaded slugs and snails, I would cover them with plastic cups for the next two weeks at night and uncover them in the morning before work. It worked. The snails didn’t get too much of them and they grew very well.

Swiss Chard Transplanted 02-11-08

So they grew and they grew without too many problems. Not a pest to be found. I’m still crossing my fingers! Here they are a month and a half later, still growing steadily:

Swiss Chard 59 days 03-23-08

And grew they did. I’ll probably harvest these soon and make some yummy side dishes.

Swiss Chard 90 days 03-23-08

Here are some pics of the other swiss chard plants I have laying around the garden. I plan on planting them in a spot near my fence that gets regular morning sun. They really enjoy full sun but part sun wouldn’t hurt them much.

More Swiss Chard Seedlings 40 days

Swiss Chard Seedlings Transplanted 45 days

Well that’s all for now folks. Happy gardening everyone!


  1. Ivy Mae said

    Great, informative post! Love the picture progression. I’ve just planted chard seeds for the first time and hope mine do as well as yours!

  2. Rox731 said

    Been eating Swiss Chard for the first time in my life. My Bangladesh neighbor grows it and I had never had it before a couple of weeks ago. I have been frying it in a small amount of oil with garlic, onion, salt & pepper. Using it as a side dish as well as cutting up some white fish and frying that in the pan along side with the chard. I’m so sorry I have waited till now to discover it. Hubby likes it better than spinach. LOL

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