Swiss Chard Care Tips

Swiss chard is an edible plant with flat green foliage that is similar to spinach in both taste and appearance. Chard is extremely nutritious, high in numerous vitamins and minerals. This article describes several tips on how to care for your swiss chard plant including: soil, light, water and fertilization requirements.

Soil Requirements

Swiss chard prefers basic soil to acidic soil, preferably in a pH range between 6.5 and 6.8. Plant in well-draining soil that can retain a moderate amount of moisture in case of drought. The soil should be composed of at least 30 percent organic matter to properly feed the plant as it matures.

Light Requirements

Swiss chard thrives in full sun or partial shade. The more sunlight this plant absorbs, the faster and healthier it grows. On the other hand, if you live in a particularly warm climate, it is best to plant swiss chard in an area of your yard where it will receive morning and afternoon sun with shade during the hottest part of the day.

Water Requirements

Since swiss chard can withstand some drought, you only need to supplement it with water during the hottest summer months. Water when you notice that the leaves are beginning to wilt or if it has not rained in over a week. If you keep your swiss chard in containers, water at least once a week during spring and summer, and once every 2 weeks during colder weaterh.

Fertilizer Requirements

The best way to fertilize swiss chard is through seasonal mulching or liquid fertilization. Mulch once every 3 or 4 weeks with a mixture high in decaying organic material.  If you use liquid fertilizer, fertilize during watering instead of placing the liquid fertilizer directly over the soil. Mix the liquid fertilizer in with your watering, and pour the mixture directly over the foliage of the plant. This will feed the plant through its foliage and roots, ensuring that your plant receives enough nutrients during its growing season.