Photo by Melody
Congratulations to all our photo contest participants! Check out the winning photos here. We will have the 2015 calendars available to order from Zazzle soon.

Beginner Vegetables: Swiss Chard harvesting?

Communities > Forums > Beginner Vegetables
bookmark
Forum: Beginner VegetablesReplies: 17, Views: 139
Add to Bookmarks
-
AuthorContent
Dean_W
Central Texas, TX
(Zone 8b)

June 5, 2008
11:27 PM

Post #5059712

How long are Swiss Chard leaves good for? Do they become bitter with old age?

TMaple
Saint Paul, MN

June 6, 2008
1:43 AM

Post #5060386

I have always been able to harvest off the same plants for the whole season by picking the outside leaves. I have also harvested the whole plant by cutting it a couple of inches above the ground and letting the stump grow into a new set of leaves. Mine get bitter if the get too mature or start to bolt.
Dean_W
Central Texas, TX
(Zone 8b)

June 6, 2008
2:19 AM

Post #5060566

TMaple, thanks.
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

June 6, 2008
2:36 AM

Post #5060643

Yes, I'm with TMaple, though my experience is the variety determines whether they get bitter or not. The "Lights" variety tend to get bitter with age, but the Fordhooks do not. There must be other good varieties that folks can recommend. We pick outer leaves all Summer, Fall and Winter 'til they go to seed. You can cut the entire top as TMaple suggested. Just leave the inner heart leaves. If bugs are a serious problem for you, don't do this, as the cutting, combined with a bug attack could do in your plants. I replant in late summer for a Fall/Winter harvest. We like international food and prepare them in the Roman style...with garlic, olive oil and plumped raisins (might sound weird, but they are great). We use them in salads and stews as well.

Laurel
Dot_Cruickshank
Perth
Australia

June 6, 2008
8:43 AM

Post #5061705

In our parts we call Swiss Chard Silver Beet. I have always used the outside leaves and they keep on going for ages. The younger the leaves are the better. They require frequent picking to keep them young. The stalks are great too and can be sliced and cooked seperately if you like , or added to stir fries. I love salads and find the really young leaves great in salads.
It is a great stand by to have in the garden as it goes on for ages and you can keep it fresh by picking some leaves and adding them to your compost if you don't want to use them at the time.
Dean_W
Central Texas, TX
(Zone 8b)

June 6, 2008
2:33 PM

Post #5062550

Laurel, thanks for the info. I'll cut off the old leaves as, TMaple suggested. Dot, I'll add the old leaves to the compost thanks.
fourks
Evergreen, CO

June 9, 2008
3:17 AM

Post #5074724

Try to keep them 4-5 inches at the outer leaves. Even this will be a little bitter if you have a hot spell. Pick in evening, after watering, and soak in water with ice cubes. yum!
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

June 9, 2008
12:52 PM

Post #5075859

Would ya'll share what varieties of chard you grow? Ours does not get bitter with 12" leaves. It can get tough and stringy if it gets any larger, and it does develop a stronger flavor, but it's not bitter.

Laurel
Hastur
Houston, TX

June 9, 2008
2:22 PM

Post #5076322

I remember that when we were kids, we would go through the chard sections of the garden and snip all the leaves off the plants, leaving about a hands width (adult hand, that is) of stalk. One week later, we were doing it again.

We used to get about 5-7 harvests off the chard before it got seedy, or tough or whatever.

drivenbonkers
Perth,, ON
(Zone 5a)

June 10, 2008
5:12 PM

Post #5082972

I regularily harvest outer leaves from the 'bright lights' chard.

If the leaves are too large, or are ugly to look at, I just compost them.

the smaller leaves are real nice in a green salad. larger leaves are torn into smaller pieces...delish!
ivytwine
Cape May, NJ

June 11, 2008
12:43 AM

Post #5084868

We've been harvesting the outer leaves (bright lights) almost every other day and they are still yummy and still going strong, not bitter. Family and friends love to get a bag of fresh chard when we have alot.
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

June 11, 2008
1:14 AM

Post #5085021

Although I have "Bright Lights" on and off, I generally prefer to grow Fordhook. The leaves seem to be more fleshy, get enormous and stay mild. I have some "Lights" from last Spring going to seed in the garden now, but planted Fordhook this Spring. We have a sizable beet patch for that other more beety flavor.

Thanks for sharing your preferences.

L
Dean_W
Central Texas, TX
(Zone 8b)

June 12, 2008
5:27 PM

Post #5093250

Here's a pic of mine. The heat is getting to it I need to water.

Thumbnail by Dean_W
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

June 13, 2008
12:46 AM

Post #5095298

Your chard looks gorgeous Dean! I was going to post a photo of mine but it's so plotzed from the heat and drought. A little rain, a little lower temp, it will be fine. The beauty of chard.

L
fourks
Evergreen, CO

June 13, 2008
1:28 AM

Post #5095538

Once the heat gets to much, find a way to provide a little shade. I grow mine in earthbox so i can move around depending. Nice job.

This message was edited Jun 12, 2008 7:32 PM
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

June 13, 2008
1:47 AM

Post #5095678

Fourks, we grow between a quarter and a half acre garden, depending on what's going on, on our seventeen acres. Been growing chard for a long time. Everything is suffering from the third year of severe drought here. We are spring fed and need to consider the cistern that supplies the house as well as the garden. There is still enough to eat, give to friends and food pantries. If this drought continues I might need to scale down and convert to earth boxes. Thanks for the suggestion.

L
fourks
Evergreen, CO

June 13, 2008
3:51 AM

Post #5096430

L,

First year with the earthbox, and I'm sold! We live in the rockies at 8600' and very poor soil. I know drought, but for now we have to much rain and cold! One sure thing is that things will change:-) All my wildflowers are in wait for warmth. The bees are getting a little grumpy.
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

June 15, 2008
3:06 AM

Post #5105601

Fourks, the Rockies are beautiful but...so rocky! Bless you for gardening at 8,600'. I am just getting used to the arctic air of Atlanta and N. GA after almost forty years. It's hard to defrost a girl from Miami!.

L

You cannot post until you register and login.


Other Beginner Vegetables Threads you might be interested in:

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
Welcome to the Beginner Vegetables forum! dave 24 Mar 24, 2013 6:54 PM
Tomato problems jkehl 40 Oct 15, 2010 1:06 PM
starting a vegie garden wilflower 28 May 24, 2012 2:38 PM
Nasturtiums and squash? Terry 41 Mar 24, 2007 8:07 PM
Bees Please jkehl 95 Apr 7, 2013 7:37 AM


We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2014 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.
 

Hope for America