Growing red chard....
I have some red chard on my balcony, but it appears rather limp looking. Any hints? Its in professional planting soil.
If it is limp but not dry and wilted, my guess would be the soil is too wet and you need to water it less. Do you fertilize with anything? How old is the planting and what cutting are you on? What is it planted in and how is the drainage on the container?
Well, maybe its been watered too much! That could be it. I have to check tomorrow to make sure the holes on the bottom are draining properly. I just got it a week ago. And transplated it to a bigger container. So its not even big enough to eat. Should I give it plant food or anything special? Its been almost 70 degrees in the day and mid 40's or so at night. Chard is new to me......but I can't wait to eat it!!
My other plants seem to be doing great though. Thanks so much for the reply!!
two things are going on IMO. #1, chard does not like to be transplanted, so that's probably the main problem. Chard is really a beet, but has been hybridized to favor nice greenery above the beet, and have a smaller beet. But it's still a beet, and root veggies like beets and carrots don't like to be transplanted.
Also professional gardening soil is generally sterile and void of nutrients. If it's not organic, it is generally meant as a substrate to which the pro greenhouses will add liquid chemical fertilizer when watering. Beets really like some potash, which is easily added if you can get your hands on a little wood ash (don't overdo it). You could also water with a little compost tea if you have access to something like that.
What I would really recommend to you is just leave that batch as it is, but next time, get the actual seeds instead of plants, and mix up a container with some of that pro soil, but mixed in some regular old garden dirt, and a tiny bit of wood ash. You can mix in any other nutrients like kelp or compost or whatever you like, but in general, chard doesn't like to be over-fertilized either. With the seeds you can avoid the transplantation that is probably the main reason yours are sulking now.
There are also rainbow chards which are nice too, but I'm with you and really love the red the best.
Thanks a lot! But please explain further wood ash......sorry if this is a dumb question. But my thumb is yellow and limp, lol!
wood ash - like you get someone who has a fireplace and burns pure real wood, and get some of that ash. I would mix say a rounded/almost heaping tablespoon full into a pot that holds about a quart and a half of soil, off the top of my head for the amount. Hope you can find some red chard seeds easily, they grow quickly and I think you will have better luck than with transplanting. If you want to sprinkle a tiny bit of wood ash on top of your existing crop you can too, just be careful that they're not too concentrated when you water it in.
So I can plant them directly outside?
Oh, I just ran into a problem with my arugula. I planted it indoors. It was over 70 today, so since the seedlings were almost 2 inches tall, I put it out on the balcony. Now most of them look wilted/dead. Should I have kept it indoors? On the dead spaces, I just planted some new seeds. I guess I'll put the paper towel on top and start all over. What looks alive is kinds flat on the soil.
I'm a new gardener........... So I'm just beginning to learn this stuff! Thanks so much though!!
OK, so ONE tablespoon? My boss has some wood that he's burned in his back yard. I could get some........
yes, plant it directly outdoors, it will be very happy.
As for the arugula, what likely happened is that plants started inside have difficulty acclimating to much stronger sun and dehydrating winds when put outside. The plant tells itself how strong to make itself and how many sun receptors to grow depending on the conditions it starts in, so if you want to move inside plants outside you have to "harden them off" which means acclimating them slowly. Usually this is done by starting like 5 minutes in the shade, then the next day more time, more sun outside, etc., so the plant can harden up without being killed. Your arugula probably grew less tough and with too many light receptors from lack of wind and lower light conditions inside, then when put outside in strong sun and some wind, it wilted. So with the arugula, just get some seeds and start them outdoors in soil, then the little buggers will start out life tough and ready for the outdoor elements and strong sun. A rule of thumb for how deep to bury the seeds is just three times the thickness of the seed covered in dirt. If you want to grow stuff faster, you could bring it inside at night but have it outside during the day, to keep the temps a little more warm to start the seeds germinating. What area/zone do you live in?
I'm a fan of growing your own food, so I think it's great you're doing this on your balcony.
Thats so helpful! Well, I'm doing my best. I'm actually really enjoying it! I'm an artist, so working with my hands, and "creating," is my thing. But I am also poor, have several vegan animals to feed, and get confused what is best to buy, local, organic, CSA, etc. I think its the best to grow your own as much as possible and eat fresh out of the ground! I'm doing OK with sprouting too. Just have some mold issues. So I try new things each time around. Its very humid in my apartment!
But also my boss is letting me use some of his land to plant a bit. If not, I guess I'll need to get out the hammer and nails and make some quick shelves, lol!!
Yeah, its my dream to eat out of my back yard. I just don't want to wait until I have one. My balcony is a forest waiting to happen.........
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