| What formula of fertilizer, or type of additive,
do I use for a successful backyard Swiss chard crop?
|Swiss chard is a favorite green of many gardeners because it will grow well in both cool and warm weather. Chard is actually a bottomless beet. It's in the same family as beets, but chard doesn't develop roots like beets. However, in the large, fleshy stalks and broad, crips leaves, there are plenty of minerals like the highly nutritious beet tops.
Plant chard in rows about 15 inches wide, scattering the seeds an inch or so apart. After thinning, the plants should be 4"-5" apart. Harvest the first plants when they are about 6" high, cutting the entire plant to an inch above the ground. In a short time the chard leaves will come on again.
The healthiest and best-tasting greens are those that grow quickly. Important contributions to rapid growth are a steady moisture supply and fertile soil. To prepare the bed work plenty of organic matter into the 6"-8" of soil. Use leaves, compost, etc., spreading it 3"-4" thick on top of the soil and working it in by digging or rototilling.
Greens will grow best in fertile soil. In addition to the organic matter, you can use a 5-10-10 fertilizer, spreading it equally around the bed. (Use 2 pounds per 100 square feet of bed.)
Hope you have a bumper crop of chard!