Planting Swiss chard ‘Bright Lights’ in the late summer and fall works just as well as planting in early spring. While Swiss chard is a semi-hardy vegetable crop, it is still a fantastic cold season crop to plant from the vegetative form in August. Garden supply stores and nurseries are setting out their cold season crops right now throughout the country, so venture out and see what you can find on the veg tables that might work in your garden.
Growing Swiss chard is fairly easy in that it requires organically rich, well-drained soil, part-shade to full-sun conditions, and consistent watering. In the How to Plant Organic Swiss Chard video you can see how easy it is to throw it in the ground with a little organic fertilizer and watch it grow into a colorful plant with a big impact. Truly, chard is as ornamental as it is tasty. Chard will wilt at a hard freeze below 30 degrees, so it is one of the cold season crops that will be the quickest to close up for the season. Planting from seed would require at least 6 weeks of growth before putting it in the ground, so I recommend a quick plant pick up a the local garden center.
Below is a list of my favorite cold season crop plants that you should get in the ground NOW before it is too late. Planting these other lovely delights is much like planting Swiss chard – when it starts to cool down significantly consider tossing a row cover or sheet over the planting beds to give protection against frost. At the end of the growing season compost your plants and start the growing cycle all over again.
8 Great Cold Season Crop Plants
- Swiss chard