Swiss Chard

2013 Greens (end of season notes)

Arugula: did well in shady spot, needed 3 plantings this year
Basil: started indoors and from seed in garden, all did well
Bok Choi: first planting did well, subsequent plantings did less well – one planting next year?
Cilantro: did well, needed 3 plantings (only got 2), not very popular – less next year?
Kales, Collards & Swiss Chard: seeded in garden, excellent spacing and productivity
Lettuce: need to plant every 2 weeks for continuous harvest – try new butterhead & romaine varieties?
Mesclun: did well, but not terribly popular – plant less or use space for lettuce next year?
Spinach: success! great germination and beautiful early & late season plants (left to winter over) – repeat next year?

Swiss Chard harvest!

swiss chard 6_19_10


This is our second week of leaf harvest (day 57) on the swiss chard. Compared to the mammoth leaves in the supermarket, ours are younger, sweeter and more tender (basically, better in every way). They require very little cooking and the brightly-colored stems are particularly lovely in a stir fry.

A few of the transplanted and otherwise smaller plants are not quite ready for a leaf harvest. However, the discrepancies in size are lessening as the season progresses.

Thinning, transplanting & leaf miner - this week in Swiss Chard

leaf miner damage

The swiss chard seedlings are up and growing, but in need of a bit of thinning and transplanting. The rows are just under a foot apart and we're progressively thinning the plants so that they will be 4 to 6 inches apart. The promise is that these plants, once mature, will continue to produce for us throughout the gardening season.

We've had some leaf miner damage on the early leaves. The worst of the infestation appears to be over, although some of the plants continue to bear scars.

Planting Swiss Chard is easy!

Swiss Chard seeds

Swiss chard seeds were planted in the garden today. Like the other cold-tolerant crops (peas, kale, lettuce and the cabbage family) they could have gone in a few weeks sooner. The wonderful thing about planting swiss chard is the big seeds (almost the size of peas and far less smooth, they're among the few seeds you can plant in a stiff breeze).

We've planted Bright Lights, a variety with a colorful mix of red, white, pink and yellow plants. There's only room for 3 rows in the 6-foot wide bed, which the swiss chard shares with the other leafy biennials (collards and kale).


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