tenplay
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So now I have three large chard plants that have gone to seed. Should I cut them down and place the hundreds of seeds in the ground now? Or should I just let them complete the natural process of falling to the ground in a few weeks or months? It is just starting to heat up here in Western Washington with almost 3 months left in the growing season.

cynthia_h
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tenplay wrote:Your experience of growing chard successfully in partial sun is encouraging. I have a large section of the back yard that is in the full sun only until noon or so. I have been reluctant to plant anything there because of the limited sun.

How does chard fare with slugs, which we have a lot of here in Western Washington state? Thanks.
When I have young chard plants, I monitor them regularly for snail/slug attacks. The snails/slugs like these plants as much as we do. Alas. Once the chard has attained full size, it can afford to give up some of its mass to the gastropods, but why let them enjoy the fruits of *your* labors? At that point, I look to my chard as a snail/slug attractor, and have very successful Snail Hunts. :twisted:

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

cynthia_h
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tenplay wrote:So now I have three large chard plants that have gone to seed. Should I cut them down and place the hundreds of seeds in the ground now? Or should I just let them complete the natural process of falling to the ground in a few weeks or months? It is just starting to heat up here in Western Washington with almost 3 months left in the growing season.
If you look closely at the seeds, they may still be green. Mature seeds, ready to fall on the ground and spring up as new chardlings, will be dry and brown. It takes maybe eight (?) or ten (?) weeks from when the seeds first appear, as shown in the photos upthread, to when they start to look dried and brown. I still have one chard plant in raised Bed #1 whose seeds aren't completely dry, but I was harvesting leaves from this one as recently as March or April, when I finally stopped cutting it back and let it go to seed.

Cynthia H.

Bobberman
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I have had swiss chard in m greenhouse for three years now. One is in a wash tub and has been producing for 2 years in 100 degree heat but I let the tub get too dry and it started to go to seed but cutting the top will give you more leaves on more stems! The leaves are smallr but stll etnder. I have aplant in the greenhouse with 5 off shoots with a 100 or more small leaves and ts three years old.
+++
I feed the rabbits chard they love it! I think as long as you keep the chard watered good it will not go seed as fast! I think also that plnanting chard with companion plants helps it grow better! I will put some chad in my lettuce bed and when the lettuce is done I have lots of chard to trans plant! The bright lights is my favorite also! My cold frame early lettuce did good with the chard!
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tenplay
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I am the OP that started this thread. So now at the end of July, I still have several tall stalks of Swiss chard not producing any usable leaves. In Western Washington, we still have a couple of months in the growing season. What should I do next? Should I chop them down to around 4 inches and hope to get some leaf growth this year? Should I just leave them alone and hope that the seeds fall to the ground and germinate next spring? Thanks for any advice.

cynthia_h
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If you have any chard seeds left from when these plants were planted, go ahead and plant those seeds.

The seeds the plants are sending up right now won't mature for several weeks. That will be the time to either collect the seeds in a pillowcase or (as I did) shake the stalk over prepared ground/raised bed and await results.

Cynthia

tenplay
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I actually planted the chard starts in the spring of 2011 and was surprised to see the chard stalks shoot up again this year. So I don't have any old seeds. All I have are the tall stalks with seeds attached. Someone had mentioned in another thread that she had simply cut the tall stalks off at 2 inches from which new edible leaves appeared. So I was wondering if I could do the same and still enjoy some chard this year. For next year I can collect the seeds and replant them as you suggest. What do you think?

cynthia_h
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[laying all cards on the table]

I haven't had the nerve to whack my chard plants off before the seeds are mature. If I had a strong hankering for more chard right now, before the seeds were mature, and I planted them, and new plants came up, etc., I'd just go to an independent nursery and buy some starts. The fall veggie starts should be in. But call ahead, to be sure. This is the more expensive route, but has a shorter timeline to maturity/edibility. :D

If you can wait a couple of weeks, buy a packet of seeds. :wink: Your plantlings will come up soon.

Cynthia

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jal_ut
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Chard. The part we eat is greens. Ya, lots of nitrogen makes lots of greens. Also, remember that thing we call a seed is actually a capsule with several seeds in it. We do need to thin to one plant every 4 inches apart in the row if we want nice big leaves.

We had a rather unusual winter here last winter, and I have two chard plants that wintered over. They are loaded with seed. It takes quite a while for the seed to be ready to harvest, but I am sure it will happen.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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rainbowgardener
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Yeah I'm discovering that time lag. Seems like months since last year's chard bolted and started making seed, but it is still not ready yet. In the meantime they are behemoths taking up room in my small garden. Next year I will only let ONE go to seed! :)
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gixxerific
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rainbowgardener wrote:Yeah I'm discovering that time lag. Seems like months since last year's chard bolted and started making seed, but it is still not ready yet. In the meantime they are behemoths taking up room in my small garden. Next year I will only let ONE go to seed! :)
:lol: Right there with you RBG. I had 3 plants going to seed. Two of them have been removed a long time ago. There is enough seed on one plant to last a lifetime. On my plant some are ready and some are not.



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