Garden Plant Guides

Tower Garden Grow Guide: How to Grow Chard

Dense in nutrients, packed with flavor, hard to resist.
GROWING INFORMATION
Chard
DIFFICULTY
1 out of 5 leaves
TIME TO HARVEST
4 weeks
INDOOR VS OUTDOOR
Both
BEST TOWER POSITION
Top

Why We Love Chard

Are you familiar with chard? Related to beets, this nutrient-dense, delicious, versatile vegetable doesn’t get nearly the amount of attention as popular greens such as spinach and kale. But it should! An excellent source of vitamins A, B, C, K, heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, copper, iron, manganese, phosphorus and potassium — it’s among the healthiest foods you can eat.

Download the Chard Grow Guide PDF.

Varieties

  • Rainbow - a mix of white-stemmed Swiss chard, red chard, and goldenre chard. When these three power players come together, they pack in a lot of flavor.
  • Fordhook - Medium-green, crinkly leaves and a white stalk. Highly productive and resists bolting, resulting in a longer growing season
  • Bionda di Lyon - Pale-green, smooth leaves and a white stalk. Less fiber than other types of chard, so the plant is tender with a mild flavor.
  • Rhubarb Chard - Deep-green, crinkly leaves with bright crimson stalks that contain phyto-nutrients called betalains. This variety is frost-sensitive, unlike other types of chard.
  • Magenta Sunset - Red stalk and medium-green, smooth leaves with a mild flavor. 
  • Bright Lights - Its green and bronze leaves are slightly crinkled, and the stems range from orange and yellow to purple and pink. Milder and more frost-sensitive than regular chard.

Planting Your Seedlings

What You’ll Need

  • Tower Garden Growing System
  • Seedling Starter Kit (If starting with seeds)
  • Swiss Chard seeds/seedlings (included in Seedling Starter Kit)
  • Net Pots or Growing Clips
  • LED Indoor Grow Lights (for indoor growing)
  • Access to power source

More information on starting your seeds is here.

  1. Germinate your seeds. This step will take roughly 1-2 weeks. When your seeds have sprouted to about 3 inches tall, they should be ready for transplant (about 2–3 weeks after sprouting)
  2. Place one seedling cube into each net pot on your Tower Garden Growing System. Because Swiss chard grows tall, we recommend planting it towards the top of your Tower Garden.
  3. Gently press the seedling cube until it touches the base of the net pot or growing clip.

Growing Conditions

Temperature: 50–70° F

Light exposure and watering cycle can be controlled by our digital timer, but for manual reference:

Light

For outdoor – minimum 6-8 hours of full sunlight daily

For indoor – set grow light timer for 14-16 hours on, 8-10 hours off

Watering Cycle

Please set the Tower timer to “O” for outdoor growing or “I” for indoor growing.

Maintenance & Pest Prevention

  • Check water and pH levels at least weekly.
  • Keep roots away from pump.
  • If not in full sun when outdoors, rotate garden regularly for even growing.
  • Clean pump monthly.
  • Check regularly for pests.
  • Remove dead plant debris.
  • Destroy diseased plant material.

More information on Tower Garden maintenance is here, as well as extra help for pests and troubleshooting.

Harvesting

  • Cut leaves near the base, being careful not to cut the stems of the inner leaves.
  • Harvest the mature leaves first, leaving smaller leaves for continued production.
  • Pick no more than 3–5 mature leaves from a plant at a time.
  • Harvest often, as this encourages new growth.
  • Remove old leaves that have lost their glossy sheen.
  • Rinse and bag all unused leaves, which will last 4 days in the refrigerator.

More information on harvesting is here.

Ways to Enjoy

  • Salads – rather than lettuce, throw Swiss chard into your salad for a heart-healthy lunch. Here are Tower Gardener recipes for a Mixed Green Salad, a Power Salad, and a Quinoa Herb Salad.
  • Sides – sauté your Swiss chard on the stovetop. Once wilted, season with salt, pepper, lemon juice, and parmesan cheese for added flavor.
  • Scrambled Eggs – Up the nutritional ante of your morning eggs with chard! Try this Veggie Scrambled Eggs recipe from a fellow Tower Gardener. 

Looking for more recipes and kitchen inspiration? Check out Let’s Cook.