Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Growing Swiss Chard in Kihei

Chard is one of the more heat tolerant greens. When planted from seed, it grows best in Kihei when planted from October through February.

Argentata 2 and Broardstem Green
Summer Survivors
11 months from seed
After the plants are established, I let them grow for as long as they'll grow and still look healthy. During the summer, when it's too hot to grow lettuce, the young chard leaves are a good cut and come again salad green. So far, none of the varieites of chard I've grown have bolted and gone to seed.

Orange Fantasia

Chard grows well in a container with a soil depth of at least 8 inches. It develops a long thick root, similar to parsley, and grows best in full sun. I fill the container with a natural and organic potting soil amended with green sand, azomite and an organic all-purpose fertilizer.


The plants usually need daily water and twice monthly applications of fish emulsion or a monthly application of an organic all-purpose fertilizer. Regular fertilizer appears to minimize damage from white flies and leaf miner larvae.

The biggest pest that affects almost all of the greens in my garden is the cabbageworm. It's the larvae of a white moth that mates from late November through February. I cover the plants with tulle tents or a light row cover cloth over hoops. I highly recommend covering these types of vegetables as the caterpillars will devour the plants in a short period of time. Other smaller moth larvae also go after the chard but they aren't as destructive. For more info, see my post on Cabbageworms.

A Japanese Chard

Chard and spinach are in the same plant family but chard is much more heat tolerant.
Broadstem Green seeds are no longer available from Seeds of Change. I've grown Riccia da Taglio and it looked identical to Broadstem Green. It's available from Gourmet Seed.

There are many varieties of green, red, yellow, orange and golden chard seeds widely available - seeds are categorized as Chard or Swiss Chard.

(I make this without the broth)


  1. As I read your howtos for growing in Kihei I'm struck by the different issues we have. We do have leaf miners (I pick off the eggs for control), but whiteflies can't live through the winter here and I've never had much of an issue with caterpillars on my lettuce or chard.

  2. Hi Daphne! It's so interesting seeing your posts and the other posts from Harvest Monday. I don't have any critter like moles and voles and racoons but I have a lot of bugs and powdery mildew that never goes away!