Seeds Of Change Fordhook Chard

Sale price$3.49


Beta vulgaris

This standard Swiss chard yields medium green leaves accented with white veins on broad white stems. Use the tender baby leaves in salads or full size for cooking.



Plant Size: 16–18 inch leaves

Hardiness: Hardy Biennial

Sun: Full

Seed Planting Depth: 0.5 inch

Days to Harvest: 55 days

Good for Container: Yes

Seed Origin: Open Pollinated

Easy to Grow: Yes

Water: Moderate

Days to Germinate: 7–12 days

Plant Spacing: 4–8 inches

Edible Flower: N/A


Chard can be grown from early spring through fall, and year-round in mild climates. It is tolerant of a broad range of growing conditions and soil types, but grows best on silt-loam or sandy-loam soils with a pH of 6.0–7.0. Maintain uniform soil moisture for the most tender leaves, but avoid waterlogging. Chard grows best during the 60–70°F days cool nights of spring and fall. While heat tolerant, it should be grown in partial shade in hot climates.

Chard is most commonly direct seeded, but may be transplanted. Direct seed beginning on the last spring frost date. Plant seeds ½–¾ inch deep, 2–3 inches apart, allowing 12–18 inches between rows. Seeds germinate in 7–12 days. Thin to 8–12 inches apart as the plants get larger (you can eat the thinnings). To start seedlings indoors, fill starter trays with a sterile seed starting mix. Plant 2 seeds per cell, 1/2 inch deep. Ideal soil temperature for germination is 65–75°F. Thin to 1 plant per cell. Harden-off seedlings for 5–7 days prior to transplanting. After the last frost, transplant 3–4 week old seedlings outside in a fertile garden bed 8–12 inches apart, allowing 12–18 inches between rows. Be careful not to disturb the roots when transplanting.

Chard is a relatively pest and disease-free crop. Practice crop rotations to prevent Cercospora Leaf Spot and other soil borne diseases. Use row covers to exclude leaf-miners, or crush them in the leaf. Protect young seedlings from slugs and snails.

Harvest chard continuously a few leaves at a time starting at the bottom of the plant while the leaves are tender. Leave the newly forming leaves at the top to keep growing. Delicate chard leaves are best used right away, but will keep a few days in the refrigerator.



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