Companion Planting

Raised Bed Plan – Swiss Chard

Raised Bed Plan – Swiss Chard. 
This Raised Bed is all about Swiss Chard. It’s a good and easy crop to grow, and I will take two identical Batches of Swiss Chard during the same season. This Raised Bed will be the Garlic Bed for next season, so I will leave room to plant Garlic in this Raised Bed when autumn comes.

First Batch: 

  • Swiss Chard

Second Batch:

  • Swiss Chard

Third Batch:

  • Plant Garlic for next season

Why these crops?
We really like Swiss Chard. Easy to grow and very useful in the Kitchen. This is not a fancy Raised Bed, but the Rainbow Chard is beautiful and there are also other very beautiful varieties to choose from. I’m not having companion crops with my Swiss Chard this season.

2a = This bed is in the “Heavy Feeders” Quarter in my Crop Rotation Plan

It is one out of Several Garden Beds (29 when I’m writing this, but tends to be more and more each season…) See the total list of beds and Layout in my Garden Plan for Raised Beds 2017.

Time Plan for this Bed
This Raised Bed does not require a lot of effort.The dates will depend a lot on where you live, and what average temperatures and sunny hours you have at different months. I’m in Northern Europe and this is the Plan I follow:

March – beginning: 

  • Remove left over Ground Cover (like Grass Clippings or Leaves) and let the Sun warm the ground
  • Cover the Garden Bed with a Glass Window Frame or Plastic Frame to help the Sun warm up the Bed faster.
  • Start Swiss Chard seeds indoors (40 plants is good for a 120×80 cm Raised Bed)

March – end of:

  • Add Chicken Manure to the Raised Bed

April – end of:

  • Transplant Swiss Chard Plants to the Raised Bed (about 15 cm between the Plants)

June – beginning:

  • Start harvest Swiss Chard
  • Start second Batch of Swiss Chard Seeds indoors

June – end of:

  • Harvest the last Swiss Chard from the first Batch
  • Add Chicken Manure to the Raised Bed
  • Transplant second batch of Swiss Chard Plants to the Raised Bed

August – end of:

  • Start harvesting Swiss Chard again, harvest continuously 

November – beginning:

  • Harvest the last Swiss Chard
  • Add Chicken Manure to the Raised Bed
  • Plant Garlic for next season (see separate plan for Garlic Raised Bed)

My Kitchen Garden is built with a modular approach. I have a number of Raised Beds (Deep Beds) – currently 29 beds. Most of them are 120×80 centimeters. They are Deep Beds and I always cover them with Organic Material to improve soil and nutrients, and also have a No Dig Garden. More background information can be found in these posts:

Methods I use to plan each Garden Bed
I plan each bed carefully and enjoy making and developing my plans. I try to consider different angles:
– Succession Planting: I want to have at least 3 batches from each bed to maximize my harvest
– Crop Rotation: I rotate my basic crops each year to eliminate diseases. I have a 4 year Crop Rotation Plan (more about my Crop Rotation Plan here).
– Companion Planting: I want each batch to consist of Plants that thrive together to get good harvest and keep the plants healthy.
– Continuous Harvest: I want to be able to harvest from early spring to late autumn without having to preserve too much food. We prefer to eat all the vegetables as fresh as possible.

Don’t hesitate to discuss the planning of this bed with me. There is always loads of input that can help improving this further.

Update, 9th of March

It’s still beginning of March, and I’m trying to keep up with all the sowing that want’s to be done. Starting Swiss Chard indoors. First varieties will be ‘Fordhook Giant’ and ‘Rhubarb Chard’. I expect them to sprout within a few days.

Update, 30th of May

Swiss Chard! I totally forgot to update this topic. Swiss Chard is doing good. I have some different varieties. Moved them outdoors and gave them fresh grass clippings for nutrients some days ago.

Update, 4th of June

Mulching with Grass Clipping has one great benefit: it adds nutrients to the crops. Mulching with for example bark preserves water in the ground, but it can actually steal nutrients from the crops since it consumes nutrients when it breaks down.

This is my Swiss Chard today:

Update, 27th of June

Swiss Chard is a fast grower! Harvested this Raised Bed today and moved the second batch to the Raised Bed. Looking forward to harvest a similar batch after summer.

The leaves are huge!

Update, 12th of November

Second harvest of Swiss Chard from the same Raised Bed. Good plan to grow two batches during one season. Freezer is full of Swiss Chard for us to eat during the winter. 

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