How to Harvest Swiss Chard

Posted on May 17 2011 - 2:46am by Mike Lieberman

It’s been about 3-months since I planted the swiss chard seeds when I started my garden from scratch. The two containers are now bursting with some nice greenage and are ready to be harvested and picked.

They could very well be left to grow larger, but I wanna eat.

When taking a closer look at the container, the chard is growing clumps and doing pretty well.

To harvest the the leaves all you have to do is locate the outermost leaves of the bunch and pick them about 2-3 inches from the soil line. You can do this by hand or with a gardening tool. I just do this by hand.

By selecting the outermost leaves, you will help to promote more growth. That’s it. Pretty simple.

I am going to use them in a green smoothie. What’s your favorite way to use swiss chard leaves?

31 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Jes May 17, 2011 at 1:19 pm -

    Oh man. Swiss chard is something I really wish I would have planted this year. I’m Obsessed with it lately! Really good sauted with chickpeas and lemon. The stems are pretty good, too (makes for a pretty color if you use the red variety).

    Jealous? Most definitely.


  2. Jessica Braun May 17, 2011 at 2:09 pm -

     Definitely keep coming with ideas of how to use it.  We grew some as an experiment in an edible landscape I worked on and now I’m not sure what to do with it!

  3. Mike Lieberman May 17, 2011 at 2:28 pm -

    Been loving them in my smoothies lately. 

  4. Mike Lieberman May 17, 2011 at 2:28 pm -

    Eat it. Duh. 

  5. Mary C. May 17, 2011 at 4:36 pm -

    Mmmmm….Chaaaaard…. hehe. I like to rip up the leaves use them in mixed salad, and chop up the stem like celery for garnish. I also really like to steam it with just a little sea salt. On of my girlfriends has used it in place of spinach in lasagna and some casseroles and it turned out great 🙂

    I got one of the girls I babysit to try a bite of a hot pink stem and she said “it’s not bad. I won’t ask for it but if you put in on my plate I’ll eat it” Well, that’s a pretty good endorsement for veggies from a second grader 🙂

  6. Pat Boardman May 17, 2011 at 4:42 pm -

    I planted the  swiss chard bright lights seeds about 30 days ago.  I wish I had planted earlier. I’ve never had a green smoothie but may have to try. I usually eat all my greens in a salad or in a tortilla.

  7. Mike Lieberman May 17, 2011 at 6:31 pm -

    That sounds like a great testimonial. Hahhaa. 

  8. Mike Lieberman May 17, 2011 at 6:32 pm -

    I pack my greens into the smoothies. 

  9. gloria May 17, 2011 at 7:14 pm -

    I add chopped Swiss chard to pasta sauce right before serving or at the end of any soup or stew, or I micro it for 1 minute and stir in cooked rice or cooked pasta.  It’s also nice sauteed with garlic and olive oil as a side dish.  Yum!

  10. Mike Lieberman May 18, 2011 at 3:07 am -

    You had me until the microwave part 😉 

  11. Aliceannlincoln May 18, 2011 at 12:29 pm -

    Lightly steam large chard leaves; roll up around filling of choise mine is a mushroom and cheese with sweet pepper and onion).  Steam / bake / or saute. Good grilled lightly too. 

  12. Victoria May 18, 2011 at 12:30 pm -

    I love, love, love swiss chard sauteed and added right on top of my pizza before it goes in the oven.  We have swiss chard growing in our cold frame for the first time.

  13. Jes May 18, 2011 at 1:25 pm -

    For real, I almost cried at the supermarket a few weeks ago because they ran out of organic swiss chard. It was there the day before, too, when I thought about picking some up. Luckily, one of the farmer’s markets has a stall with delish swiss chard.

    I’ll have to try it in a smoothie, that’s a good idea!

  14. Mike Lieberman May 18, 2011 at 1:45 pm -

    I like that idea Alice. Def gonna make me some of that. 

  15. Mike Lieberman May 18, 2011 at 1:45 pm -

    Nice. Enjoy! 

  16. Ginger Renee Doxie May 22, 2011 at 3:42 am -

    I’ve never had swiss chard but plan to plant a “salad bowl” this gardening season-now I know how to harvest it-thanks so much! My salad bowl will have Butter Crunch, Oak Leaf, Red Fire, Salad Bowl Lettuce and Swiss Chard-hope it grows well_I can’t wait to try it!

  17. Mike Lieberman May 22, 2011 at 3:58 am -

    Nice. That’s awesome. Keep me updated. 

  18. Cbradley12 June 21, 2011 at 2:09 am -

    Totally flourishes in my fl garden. So much so my chicken flock has it as part of their diet. I usually sauté w garlic a a really buttery olive oil….mmmmmm.

  19. Mike Lieberman June 21, 2011 at 2:26 am -

    Nice. That sounds good.

  20. Dawn Mischler July 6, 2011 at 3:32 am -

    Finally have enough to harvest here in Milwaukee.  My mom used to make Swiss chard “sweet and spicy”.  Olive oil, ginger, maple syrup, pan fried and delicious.  I am looking forward to making it this week for the first time.  

  21. Mike Lieberman July 6, 2011 at 1:36 pm -

    Ohhh I like that idea…

  22. Amy October 25, 2011 at 8:40 pm -

    The fam eats swiss chard sauteed with garlic and olive oil or in salads (like other posters have mentioned). However, my daughter also has a pet rabbit, and the swiss chard is a big part of her diet too– particularly older, tough leaves. The rabbit manure is them used in compost to make our soil better, so it works out pretty well!

  23. Mike Lieberman October 25, 2011 at 7:38 pm -

    That’s keepin it full circle. Great.

  24. Cakewalkingmother April 30, 2012 at 7:30 am -

    The stems and the leaves really are like two different vegetables;)  We like to roast the stems first and then cream the leaves with olive oil and garlic.  Add them together and with a little fresh parm…yummy!

  25. Mike Lieberman April 30, 2012 at 4:45 pm -

    I like it!

  26. Josephw1982 May 1, 2012 at 12:43 pm -

    my swiss chard is way bigger than that

  27. Mike Lieberman May 1, 2012 at 12:47 pm -

    That’s great.

  28. Holly Schroeder May 15, 2012 at 9:55 pm -

    We eat it raw in salads with other greens. I love the flavor of dark greens and it’s awesome with a nice tangy vinegarette. 

  29. Mike Lieberman May 16, 2012 at 10:11 am -

    Ohhhh….sounds good.

  30. Suzan419 May 20, 2012 at 5:14 pm -

     That’s what all men say…

  31. KarinSDCA July 23, 2012 at 4:01 pm -

    We add it to stir-fry, quiche, pasta, soup, omelets, and more. We receive it in our CSA and sometimes it is soooo plentiful we are eating it practically in every single meal! A great “challenge” to solve, if you ask me… 🙂

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