Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Swiss chard under glass

Awhile back I wrote that at some point in the future I planned on doing an entire ebb and flow system with nothing but swiss chard, and I have.

The plants in the above photo were started on April 7, 2009, and they have been in the ebb and flow system for about three weeks. Although all of the seeds were started on the same day, there is a noticeable difference in size in these plants. The only explanation I can think of for the variation is: genes.

When I first thought of growing chard this way, I postulated that the shape of the plant, tall and slender, would be ideal for packing them closely together in the ebb and flow system. My thinking is that they would support each other, and not topple over. There are fifteen plants in this system, and so far so good. I estimate that this system is about 3 square feet in size, and it comfortably holds fifteen plants. I doubt that it would be possible to grow fifteen chard in soil in 3 square feet.

As I think about it, I really don't mind the variation is size, because I would most likely harvest four or five plants at a time. Another benefit of growing them in the ebb and flow system is that I can replace any plants that are harvested, and not disturb the growing plants.

There is another system that mirrors this system on the other side of the door, and I have reserved that for beet greens.

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