Do you want to grow swiss chard in California, but don’t know when to plant them?
Planting swiss chard is not as easy as it seems.
- Swiss Chard are not able to survive frost or cold weather under 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
So if you plant them outside too early in the spring they will die. And if you plant them too late, your swiss chard won’t produce a harvest before the first frost arrives in the fall.
Today, I’m going to teach you the ideal time to plant swiss chard in California:
When to Plant Swiss Chard in California
As you may have already guessed, you need to pay very close attention to your local weather in the spring. Specifically, you are going to need to watch when the last frost occurs.
In general, when there hasn’t been a frost for two weeks, you are SAFE to plant your swiss chard outside in California!
For your reference, I have created this table for average frost dates for most major cities in California. If your city is not listed below you can find its Last & First Frost Dates HERE.
California Last & First Frost Dates
Unfortunately, Mother Nature plays cruel tricks on us every year.
It should be noted that the above dates are just averages.
There are years when the last frost comes MUCH later. Sometimes, the last frost happens much earlier and you can get your swiss chard planted outside in California much quicker.
Like I said before, you need to be very diligent in checking your local weather.
So what happens if a frost comes AFTER you plant your swiss chard?
When you know a frost is coming you need to take action.
- If swiss chard are in pots, bring them inside
- If swiss chard are in the ground, cover them in burlap and hope they survive
Also, make sure not to plant your swiss chard in your garden too late.
- Planting swiss chard too late will cause small swiss chard or even worse, no swiss chard.
When Should You Start Your Swiss Chard Seeds Indoors?
Depending on the type of swiss chard, it takes roughly 45-55 days to grow swiss chard from seed indoors and then transplant them to your garden.
For a specific date that you should start swiss chard seeds indoors you should:
- Find the last average frost date HERE
- And then subtract 55 days from it
Not only this, but I recommend again paying close attention to your local weather report.
It should also be noted that the best technique for bringing your swiss chard plants outside is to introduce them (in their pots) outside for an hour. And then increase the amount of time they spend outside each day by an hour until they have been outside for 8 hours.
This will “hardened” your swiss chard plant, increasing its chances of fighting off diseases, insects, droughts, and wet conditions.
If you want to learn WHEN to plant ANY Vegetable in California, head over to HERE and just type in the vegetable you want to grow.