START SEEDS INDOORS
In early spring, when danger of frost is over, sow seeds in well-worked, fertile soil in full sun. Sow seeds 1/2 inch deep and 2 inches apart in rows 10 inches apart, or broadcast thinly for bed planting. Firm soil well over these irregularly shaped seeds to ensure good germination. If first sowing germinates unevenly, plant more seed as seedlings catch up quickly. When large enough to handle, thin seedlings to final spacing of 8 to 10 inches apart so these large plants have room to grow and mature. Transplant extras or enjoy young thinnings as early greens and salads.
Chard grows well in a wide range of conditions and can take some light frost. In mild winter areas, it can be grown year round. Give seedlings enough room, because chard grows into large vase-shaped plants 2 feet tall.
HARVEST AND USE
Begin harvesting when plants are well established and have at least 6 to 8 leaves. Both stalks and leaves make great eating. Chop and steam or sauté with garlic and olive oil. Use like spinach in lasagna or minestrone soup. Try tasty chard leaves stuffed and poached in broth with a dash of olive oil and fresh lemon.