Sow seeds indoors starting 4-6 weeks prior to planting them out in early spring. When direct sowing, wait until all threat of frosts have passed. After emergence, thin plants to about 6 inches apart. Swiss chard responds well to pre-planting fertilization with 3-5 lbs. per 100 sq. ft. with 10-10-10 all-purpose or 3-5-3 organic fertilizer along with ample organic matter. Once mature, harvest the outer leaves or cut off the entire plant a few inches above the crown and new leaves will grow.