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swiss chard and the inquirig mind

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swiss chard and the inquirig mind

Post  p14shooter on 2/24/2016, 9:08 pm

swiss chard.  Picked up another couple seed packs today.  One being swiss chard.  Obviously I have not grown it before (well I tried last year but nothing came up), or eaten it for that matter, but am going to.  But I am confused.  My neighbor grows it and he must plant 1000 seeds/inch and eats the leaves of course.  My pack says to plant 3 inch spacing, and Mel you you say to plant 6 inch.  I thought it was eating as a young leaf, but according to some of the pics here, they grow to the size of a small child.  Even the grocery store here sells the smallish, medium size leaf (to me anyway).  Obvious, what you say is correct, but is there any reason to plant heavily?  I know a couple people who plant 1000 beets/inch as all they want is the greens.  Is it the same thing?
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Re: swiss chard and the inquirig mind

Post  trolleydriver on 2/24/2016, 9:27 pm

Last year I grew Fordhook Giant Swiss Chard at 4 per square. I actually sowed more than one seed in each of the 4 positions and then allowed only the best seedling to grow to maturity. They grew really well and I harvested the outer leaves until the end of the season when I took the whole plant.

By the way, the seed package for that Fordhook Giant states to sow the seeds on 1 inch spacing and to space the plants 10 inches apart. So I was pushing it with 4 plants per square.
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Re: swiss chard and the inquirig mind

Post  sanderson on 2/25/2016, 1:58 am

The great thing about Mel's Mix with good compost is that you can sometimes push the envelop and plant closer.  Ten inches can be 8" or even 6" if you keep them somewhat picked.

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Re: swiss chard and the inquirig mind

Post  herblover on 2/25/2016, 8:49 am

I usually plant chard at 4 per square; last year I got nothing, but it has previously been a consistently stand out crop for me.
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Re: swiss chard and the inquirig mind

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/25/2016, 9:35 am

I plant Bright Lights or Rainbow Lights. Pretty and delicious. I put it in front of my trellised pole beans, and it did well. I eat the leaves and stems too, raw and sautéed with garlic, onions, it is very versatile. If I were to put it in a square I would put 4/SF.
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Re: swiss chard and the inquirig mind

Post  CapeCoddess on 2/25/2016, 9:48 am

I plant about 5/sq as I start eating them when young. If I go off chard for a while they end up a pretty good size but don't seem to mind the crowd.

CC
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Re: swiss chard and the inquirig mind

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 2/25/2016, 1:11 pm

If you are in an area with mild winters, swiss chard will grow as a perennial.  We get temps down to the mid to low 20s and it survives.  

When it is growing as a perennial, it sends offshoots that grow into plants and has a naturally crowded growing habit so close spacing won't bother them.  We gather the lower leaves for juicing or to sautee (mmmmmm!)  We cut offshoots back to the stalk when things get a little overcrowded and it will just send more out.
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Re: swiss chard and the inquirig mind

Post  has55 on 2/25/2016, 4:00 pm

@audrey.jeanne.roberts wrote:If you are in an area with mild winters, swiss chard will grow as a perennial.  We get temps down to the mid to low 20s and it survives.  

When it is growing as a perennial, it sends offshoots that grow into plants and has a naturally crowded growing habit so close spacing won't bother them.  We gather the lower leaves for juicing or to sautee (mmmmmm!)  We cut offshoots back to the stalk when things get a little overcrowded and it will just send more out.
This is my experience also in North Tx area. We had a plant grow 3 yrs in the old field garden. We finally dug it up last year.
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Re: swiss chard and the inquirig mind

Post  sanderson on 2/25/2016, 5:14 pm

It's 80*F today in Fresno so I harvested heavily today - 2 kinds of kale, Swiss chard and broccoli flowers and small leaves.  Now I have to find a good place to transplant the chard for the summer.  I wish I had more boxes just for the "perennial" chard.  Shocked  I covered all of these with bridal tulle for insect control and it worked really worked.

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Re: swiss chard and the inquirig mind

Post  CapeCoddess on 2/25/2016, 5:24 pm

NICE! Greens with envy here!
Wink
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Re: swiss chard and the inquirig mind

Post  Kelejan on 2/25/2016, 6:03 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:NICE!  Greens with envy here!
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CC

Very Happy CC
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Re: swiss chard and the inquirig mind

Post  sanderson on 2/26/2016, 2:42 am

Forgot to post the photo.

Now I have to blanch and freeze them. Shocked

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Re: swiss chard and the inquirig mind

Post  has55 on 2/26/2016, 7:34 am

Beautiful Sanderson. Look so yummy. Great picture. Ate some swiss chard, kale and mustard green yesterday afternoon.
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Re: swiss chard and the inquirig mind

Post  CapeCoddess on 2/26/2016, 10:54 am

@sanderson wrote:Forgot to post the photo.

OMG! I just fell off my chair! Gotta remember to breathe....
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Re: swiss chard and the inquirig mind

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/26/2016, 12:15 pm

Spring fever.....beautiful!
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Re: swiss chard and the inquirig mind

Post  trolleydriver on 2/26/2016, 12:42 pm

Those look great sanderson. How I wish our growing season was longer. We don't even get half a year.
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Re: swiss chard and the inquirig mind

Post  Kelejan on 2/26/2016, 12:50 pm

@trolleydriver wrote:Those look great sanderson. How I wish our growing season was longer. We don't even get half a year.

TD, why not try doing like JohnP does; go South for the winter.

Oh, I forgot, going South does not mean that you have any time for gardening but I bet he comes back all raring to go.

But according to your post, TD, you have been so busy planning and preparing for this coming season you have put me to shame. Very Happy

Me, I am reading a book. You know the one; about microbes and stuff.
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Re: swiss chard and the inquirig mind

Post  trolleydriver on 2/26/2016, 1:38 pm

KJ ... I tend to over-plan to the point where my brain feels like exploding and at that stage I often go back to a simpler fly by the seat of your pants approach. The planning and experimenting probably have something to do with the fact that I am an engineer.

By the way, it's too expensive to go south for an extended period now that our Canadian dollar has fallen so low against the US dollar. A few more weeks for growing in the Spring and Fall would be about right for me. For many years we lived in the Niagara Peninsula which has a longer growing season than Ottawa.
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Re: swiss chard and the inquirig mind

Post  camprn on 2/26/2016, 5:05 pm

@p14shooter wrote:swill chard.  Picked up another couple seed packs today.  One being swiss chard.  Obviously I have not grown it before (well I tried last year but nothing came up), or eaten it for that matter, but am going to.  But I am confused.  My neighbor grows it and he must plant 1000 seeds/inch and eats the leaves of course.  My pack says to plant 3 inch spacing, and Mel you you say to plant 6 inch.  I thought it was eating as a young leaf, but according to some of the pics here, they grow to the size of a small child.  Even the grocery store here sells the smallish, medium size leaf (to me anyway).  Obvious, what you say is correct, but is there any reason to plant heavily?  I know a couple people who plant 1000 beets/inch as all they want is the greens.  Is it the same thing?
I just scatter my seeds in a few square feet and see what comes up. Then I thin the seedlings progressively, eating all that I pull. The final growing spacing of chard plants for my garden is about 6"-10" apart, it's a cut and come again plant all summer. Chard is a relative of beets and may be sown quite early with good results. It does really well with a few nitrogen feedings throughout the season.

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Re: swiss chard and the inquirig mind

Post  sanderson on 2/26/2016, 9:16 pm

Thanks, guys.  CC, middle of the oppressive summer, I'll be looking wistfully at your garden.

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Re: swiss chard and the inquirig mind

Post  jimmy cee on 2/26/2016, 10:20 pm

I had 4 in a square last season...they took nicely in my cold frame which was converted to a hot frame after it warmed up..
I found keeping plants protected in my area, helps tp keep them happy.


Then when it became hot my zucchini enjoyed protection also.
Notice that 9 foot sunflower in the back....growing in 6 inches of Mel's Mix without support.
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Re: swiss chard and the inquirig mind

Post  trolleydriver on 3/2/2016, 8:39 am

I am growing this little Swiss Chard plant indoors.

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Re: swiss chard and the inquirig mind

Post  jimmy cee on 3/3/2016, 7:27 am

@trolleydriver wrote:I am growing this little Swiss Chard plant indoors.

 That is one nice looking plant, and I love your mix..
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Re: swiss chard and the inquirig mind

Post  trolleydriver on 3/3/2016, 8:09 am

Nothing but the best jimmy ... that's Mel's Mix which was left over from one of my new SFG bed's last year.
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Re: swiss chard and the inquirig mind

Post  trolleydriver on 3/7/2016, 2:30 pm

I moved the indoor Swiss Chard plant to a second floor window. The snow outside the window is on top of our garage roof.


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