Are you familiar with Swiss chard? Related to beets, this nutrient-dense, delicious, versatile vegetable doesn’t get nearly the amount of attention as popular greens such as spinach and kale. But it should!
An excellent source of vitamins A, B, C, K, heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, copper, iron, manganese, phosphorus and potassium—it’s among the healthiest foods you can eat. And it’s easy to grow with Tower Garden!
Fun fact: Swiss chard is a Mediterranean plant and not actually native to Switzerland, as you might expect.
There are a few different types of Swiss chard, and each has its advantages.
When it comes to greens, Swiss chard is unique in that it grows well from spring through fall. But it’s still considered a cool season crop with an optimal growing temperature of 50–70°, as these conditions produce the sweetest, most tender leaves. If you’re growing in warmer temperatures, consider planting Swiss chard where it will receive afternoon shade.
When starting Swiss chard, plant about 4 seeds per rock wool cube. Seeds should germinate within 1–2 weeks. And seedlings should be ready to transplant 2–3 weeks after sprouting. Because Swiss chard grows tall, we recommend planting it in the top section of your Tower Garden.
Tower Tip: For step-by-step instructions on starting seeds and transplanting seedlings, reference page 7 of the Tower Garden Growing Guide.
Tower Garden reduces the risk of pests and plant diseases. But it's always good to be prepared! Keep a watchful eye for these pests and diseases:
Tower Tip: Learn how you can naturally beat bad bugs and prevent plant diseases.
Ready to go Tower-to-Table? Leaves are most flavorful when the plant is 50–60 days old. But you can begin harvesting leaves when they are 4–5" long
Keep these tips in mind when harvesting Swiss chard:
Swiss chard leaves make a convincing spinach substitute, as the stalks do for asparagus or celery. The healthy green is delicious simply sautéed with lemon juice and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. But Tower Gardeners also use it in salads, fried rice, scrambled eggs and even pesto! (Get those recipes here.)
If you harvest more than you can eat right away, rinsed and bagged Swiss chard will last about 4 days in the refrigerator. Alternatively, blanch and freeze or even dry excess produce.
Tower tip: For more tips on growing Swiss chard, download our PDF guide »