bought swiss chard bright lights in dense pak, now what?

mary4b(4b WI)May 23, 2010

Hi there,

I bought 3 packs of bright lights, there are MANY little plants in I just plant the whole pack in 1 hole, or do I break it apart by 4....or do I need to get thin it out?

The tallest leaves are 6" at most right now.

Also, I bought 3 packs because I was thinking to use some ornamentally and some for eating.

For eating, how would they do in a pot?

For ornamental in my perennial garden, do I need to divide them up more? It seems I always see just a few large stalks in a garden, not a mass of them.

Obviously, I'm not at all sure how to proceed with these!

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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Swiss chard has a big tap root so is not really suited to pot culture but you could probably get it to grow; just wouldn't be optimal.

You need to separate the plants and plant at least 9 inches apart preferably a more. A well grown chard plant can cover over a square foot easily. It is best to give them space and moisture because if they are at all stressed they are liable to bolt, especially if transplanted.

Here is a link that might be useful: Swiss chard

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 10:47AM
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Mary, my suggestion would be to divide them as follows: I used this method a few years ago when I oversowed in small pots too densely and it nonetheless worked.

First really soak each pack so that the individual plants can be teased apart with less damage to the roots. By "really soak" I mean first water the packs very well, then gently remove them from their containers and put the clumps of plants in a pot of water up to the soil line so that you are virtually soaking the soil or rooting medium off the individual plants. Don't leave them sitting in the water too long, just enough to make the roots separateable, so you have to work kind of quickly. When you loosen up the plant clump enough to divide, then transplant where/how you want them to end up.

Swiss chard will eventually produce a plant about a foot in diameter at least. It's your choice whether you want a closely-spaced mass in the perennial garden or not, your aesthetic judgment.

As far as potting up for eating, yes chard can be raised in containers. I would think about a one-half to one gallon pot per plant. Chard is a member of the beet family and they produce a sort of cylindrical beet-like root.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 10:57AM
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jimster(z7a MA)

I was separating seedlings (shallots, not chard) with intergrown roots yesterday. What worked well was to remove excess clinging growing medium from a bunch of seedlings, then put the clump in water. Working gently in the water more medium could be removed and the roots teased apart with little damage.


    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 10:58AM
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mary4b(4b WI)

Thank you for such quick responses!

Ok, I will separate them using the water method....

But, we are supposed to have mid-high 80's all of this week...should I keep them watered in the pak until I get a cooler series of days for transplanting them into the garden, or can they take the heat, say if I just keep them watered 2x a day?

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 11:10AM
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jimster(z7a MA)

One thing which I believe helps plants overcome transplant shock is to set them out late in the day, so they have several hours without intense sun to recover. And keep watered, of course.


    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 11:15AM
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I grow mostly by direct seeding,but when the necessity arises where I must transplant,I have found (YMMV) this process works fantastic and there is very limited transplant shock.
Check out the video links below... one is garlic and the other Broccoli

Transplanting Garlic

Here is a link that might be useful: Transplanting Broccoli (and other such things;-)

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 4:57PM
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jonhughes, I don't see any insect damage on your chard. How do you keep them so clean?

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 6:00PM
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Hi lilydude,
I have a "No Trespassing sign" , seems to work great ;-)

I really don't know... Most of my beds are 2' tall... could that help ???

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 8:51PM
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