How to grow Swiss chard in containers

Apart from the fact that Swiss chard is delicious and nutritious, it is also an ornamental. That is why planting Swiss chard in containers does double duty; it can provide a showy backdrop for other plants and flowers, and for most of us that our seasonal color plantings are located near an entry to the home, it makes for easy picking. Just continue reading to find out how to grow Swiss chard in containers.

Growing Swiss Chard in a Container

The ‘Bright Lights’ is a cultivar awash with red, gold, white, violet, yellow, and orange hues, it was introduced to the market about twenty years ago and since then other cultivars have been introduced. Among these is the ‘Fordhook Giant’ which is a heat tolerant variety for those folks with warmer growing seasons. Also there’s the brilliant ruby red ‘Rhubarb’ and brilliantly white types of Swiss chard. The plethora of colors available has actually make container gardening with Swiss chard a delight. Actually the Swiss chard container gardening can be done with just chard or in combination with other plants. Swiss chard can also be grown in a container indoors during the colder months for a constant supply of nutritious greens to use at home. Swiss chard is very easy to grow and it actually tolerates poor soil, negligence on your part and is frost hardy. Not only is the plant beautiful, Swiss chard can also be used fresh or cooked. The plant leaves make a colorful stand-in for spinach and the stalks can be cut up and cooked as you would asparagus.

How to Grow Swiss Chard in Pots

If you’re planting Swiss chard in pots, the container does not need to be too deep because the plant root system isn’t deep but you do want to take into account the large leaves. You can purchase transplants or sow your own Swiss chard seeds. If you actually want to sow your own Swiss chard seeds, they can be started quite early outdoors, as they thrive in cooler temperatures. If you want to get a jump start, start the seedlings indoors and then transplant them outside when temperatures begin to warm. Sow the Swiss chard seeds ½ to an inch apart. You can thin the seedlings to two to three inches apart. Swiss chard is ready to be picked within four to six weeks. You can harvest at this time or if you are growing the Swiss chard as an ornamental, just leave the leaves until they finally wilt, turn brown or are munched on by insects. At that time, you need to remove the outer leaves. The inner leaves of the plant will continue to grow.  

Swiss Chard Care in Containers

Swiss chard care in containers is fairly minimal since the plant is very resilient. The plant doesn’t mind being crowded and it actually tolerates poor soil without any additional fertilizer. The Swiss chard plant also prefers a shaded location. Like any other plant, the Swiss chard plant will respond to additional nutrition. The Swiss chard plant can get bitter when summer heat blazes, so be sure to give the plant plenty of water. The Swiss chard plants that are grown in pots need more watering than those in the garden, so keep an eye on the plant. 

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