Although chard is an easily perishable plant, there are varieties of it that will withstand low temperatures. It is a plant that does not need fertile soil, so it wouldn’t be one that you would include in the garden with the rest of your vegetables that need a fertile soil in order to grow. This is one plant that is high in nutritious value and you can eat both the leaves and the stem.
There are a few varieties of chard in the color of the stalks, which can be white, yellow or red. You can buy seeds to get started growing chard. There are seeds available for all three varieties and you can mix them in the same garden. If you don’t want to use the seeds all at once, they can be stored for up to two years in a cool dry place.
You can start planting chard seeds as soon as the soil is ready in the spring. They will also sprout very quickly and are impervious to spring frosts. If you want to have the chard even earlier, you can start the seedlings indoors and then transplant them to the outdoor garden when it is suitable. You should choose the shadiest part of the garden where the soil is poorest.
When you sow the seeds, they should be ½ to 1 inch apart and the rows of seeds should be three feet apart. This plant is very tolerant of crowding so it doesn’t matter if you do plant them very close together. Make sure you give the plant plenty of water.
You can eat the leaves of the chard plant as soon as they start to grow. If you can’t eat the leaves as fast as they are growing, make sure you discard the leaves when they start to wilt. You can even thin out the plant by cutting off the large leaves and the inner smaller leaves will take their place.