Swiss chard is a nutritious vegetable that is easy to grow. The hardy leaves look brilliant due to their many colors, and this plant has many vitamins and minerals. Read through this list of common mistakes to avoid when planting Swiss chard to grow hardier plants and a more enjoyable harvest.
Mistake # 1 – Not Planting at the Right Time
Do not wait until the spring to plant your chard seeds. You need to plant your seeds a couple of weeks before the last expected frost. This will give the seeds a chance to germinate before the warmth of spring makes the plants start to shoot up. The best soil conditions for germination are about 60 degrees. Any warmer or colder and the seeds may not germinate properly which will make it harder for you to get an even growing crop.
Mistake # 2 – Not Spacing the Plants Properly
Spacing Swiss chard is not something which can only be done at the planting. It needs to be practiced in your pruning as well. The best spacing for your plants is to keep them about 8 to 10 inches apart. This will give the roots a chance to spread as well as give leaves a chance to spread out as they grow. This will also allow the bed from becoming overcrowded and removing all necessary nutrients from the soil which will make it highly impossible for the plants to be able to grow properly.
Mistake # 3 – Not Giving Them Plenty of Light
Another very important part of growing healthy Swiss chard is making sure they get plenty of light every day. Your chard needs at least 8 hours of light every day in order to grow correctly. Make sure they are getting the right kind of sun by knowing your climate. Hot areas of the nation will need to use a shade in order to regulate the kind of sun your plants are getting. This will prevent them from getting too hot and getting rust spots. A good way to accomplish this is through a shade netting, which you can drape between the poles installed on all four corners of your garden.
Mistake # 4 – Thinning the Plants Early
This is one of the mistakes most planters commit. If you want the leaves of the Swiss chard to grow up to between 15 and 25 cm in height, the leaves will grow to be soft and more delectable. However, if you start thinning the plants before they reach this optimal height, the leaves won’t be as succulent.
Mistake # 5 – Using the Wrong Type of Soil
Swiss chard is quite particular where soil type is concerned. You have to make sure that the soil is not too acidic, or the plant will not attain its full height. The pH of the soil should be within the range of 6.5 and 6.8. Also, you have to make provisions for the soil to drain its moisture effectively. The best soil to use is one that has been impregnated with a good amount of organic nutritional supplements.