Swiss chard is taking over the planet. I don’t mean in a creepy way like body snatchers, bad K-Pop stars or Republicans, but in a very nice way. People are starting to eat Swiss chard like it was bacon-flavored bananas or that rarest of all delicacies: something edible out of the kitchens of an Applebee’s. Not only is Swiss chard healthy for you, but it can be grown right in your backyard. What could be better than growing something as nutritious as Swiss chard where you don’t have to wait in line and drive home through maddening traffic to eat it? But before you dive into the world of Swiss chard in its homegrown variety, you might want to learn these three keys to making this hyper-popular vegetable your own.
Don’t be Neutral with the Fertilizer
The Swiss are known for being neutral, but when it comes to Swiss chard it simply does not pay to hold back. Dive in head first with fertilizer. Wait, that doesn’t sound quite sanitary. What I mean to say is that the Swiss chard you grow yourself will benefit significantly from not holding back with the fertilizer. You don’t even need to buy the prepackaged stuff; good old-fashioned manure will do just fine. All you really need to make sure is that you provide your Swiss chard with a healthy amount of fertilizer if you want to see it grow to exceptional size.
One thing that will definitely impact your Swiss chard harvest in a bona fide negative manner is weeds. Do your best to keep weed-eating sprays out of the equation. In fact, do you best to pre-empt the impact of weeds by investing in a plastic liner. Mulch your Swiss chard crop with a plastic liner in which the plants are given about a foot distance from each other. If you’ve never done the plastic liner mulching thing before, you may look at the whole situation as a waste of time and way too much effort for the result. If you are really intent on introducing Swiss chard into your diet and you want to grow it yourself, then get over it. Plasticizing the process will definitely reap a reward you can’t even imagine.
More work, I’m afraid. Get down on your knees and carefully harvest Swiss chard by hand. Toss away all those sharp implements you might be using for harvesting other vegetables because those edges will run the risk of severely damaging the plant to the point of eliminating future harvests. Just locate the base of the plant and break off the Swiss chard in your hand and you not only will be successful in getting the vegetable to your plate, but you improve the odds of having food from the same plant next year.