Going to Seed with Rainbow Chard

Growing Rainbow Chard to Seed in A Cincinnati Urban Garden

Timeline – Two (2) Seasons

Monday, May 30, 2011  Beginning
Rainbow Chard Sprouts
Rainbow Chard Sprouts 2011 – Upper Right
 The Chard grew thru the 2011 summer season, we were able to cut several harvests.
2  15 foot patches were allowed to live to bolt.  My philosophy to seeding plants is that every plant will go to seed, I let it grow and watch as it does its thing.  Patience and observation.  I got lucky with the Chard and Kale.

The Winter of 2011 – 2012 was very mild in Cincinnati.  Normally green leafy plants die in the frost of the winter s.  But several of our leafy lettuces survived that winter and began growing rapidly in the 2012 Spring.

The mild winter of 2011-2012 enabled the Chard and Kale to survive outdoors through the 2011 Cincinnati Winter.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012 Chard Made it through the Winter. (Scat Cat!!!)
Rainbow Chard Year One
Rainbow Chard patch year one, made it through the Winter.
This is an image of the plants that lived through the mild winter as seen in spring of the 2012.
Saturday, May 19, 2012
Rainbow Chard got us in trouble with the non-initiated folks in the City who are not used to seeing plants go to seed.  We have to erect a sign, “We are Seed to Seed farmers.  Some of every crop of every planting is allowed to grow so that we can harvest the seeds to plant them again.  I think a lot of people saw overgrown plants and though neglect.  But I can not worry about that.

As the heat of spring progressed the plants bolted and ran.

Rainbow Chard Produces a Huge Bush of a seeding plants 6 Feet Tall!

Rainbow Chard Going to Seed
Rainbow Chard Going to Seed


They grew vertical stocks as shown above, the stocks sprouted pollen sacks and then blooms on the same plants if I remember correctly.

By late Spring this all fell back and small granola like seeds formed, very small at first but they grew on the stocks in number and in size.  I checked on their size, color, dryness, and hardness each week until they were dark, dry, hard, brown, and fell right off.  I could now obviously tell the seeds were done, the plant was telling me as seeds covered the plants and even began to fall to the ground.

I could take my hand and run my fingers down a stalk and the seeds would fill my hands.  The seeds fell off in droves as I collected droves, thousands.  From six plants that seeded I got more than I can take.

Still Missing The Harvest Shots.  These Girls Get Bushy and Huge!  Here are shots throughout three years of The Rainbow Chard Cycle.


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