Swiss Chard – Flamingo Pink

swiss-chard-flamingo-pink-dsc02548Swiss chard is one of my favorite greens.  I steam the stalks and leaves and then coat them with a dressing of olive oil, garlic and black pepper.  By only harvesting the outer leaves and allowing the inner leaves to keep growing, these plants can provide numerous harvests.  I have been growing El Dorado yellow Swiss chard for several months, but the plants are starting to get old, so now I am starting these Flamingo Pink plants.  Hopefully I can get some decent harvests from these plants before my indoor grow room gets too hot in the summer.

Day 0.  Plants started from seed (Baker Creek).  Seeds sowed in 1.5-inch rockwool cubes in 2-inch net-pot.  Used 2 rockwool cubes, with 2-3 seeds per cube.  Moistened with Seedling Blend, a dilute blend of fertilizers.  N-P-K (in ppm): 22-29-16.

Day 4.  The seeds have germinated, and were placed directly under a fluorescent light (spiral bulb, 23W, 6500k) for 18 hours per day.  The bulb is positioned 3-4 inches above the plants.

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Day 7.

Day 11.  Plants are now being put into a sunny window for 3 hours per day, then back under the fluorescent light for an additional 15 hours.

Day 14.  Plants transferred to small plastic jars containing 3 cups of Regular-Strength Blend.  N-P-K (in ppm): 103-95-202.

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Day 14.

Day 21.  Installed the plants into two 5 gallon buckets using the Masterblend-based Regular-Strength Blend.  Plants will continue to grow indoors, placed in front of a sunny window where they will receive 4 hours of direct sunlight per day.

Nutrient concentrations (in ppm):

N P K Ca Mg S Cl Fe B Mn Zn Cu Mo Ni Co Si
103 95 202  100 29 34 11 2.1 1.1 1.1 0.3 0.3 0.05 4.1
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Day 21.

Day 28.  Installed white PVC couplings around the base of the plants to help them stand upright.

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Day 39.
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Day 58.

Day 69.  Began to harvest lower leaves.  Added more Regular-Strength Blend to each bucket.  Left bucket: 1.5 gallons.  Right bucket: 0.5 gallons.

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Day 69.  El Dorado is in the front, Flamingo Pink is in the back.
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Day 81.  The leaves of the plant on the left are turning brownish.
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Day 81.  Plant on the left has a bit of white fuzzy fungus on its roots.

Day 81.  The leaves of the plant on the left are turning brown, possibly due to a fungal infection on the roots.  Before the leaf quality can deteriorate any further, the entire plant was harvested at this time.

Day 94.  Added 0.75 gallons Regular-Strength Blend to the remaining bucket.

Day 111.  Added 2 gallons Regular-Strength Blend.

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Day 117.

Day 117.  Harvested entire plant.  Total fluid used by this plant = 6.5 gallons.

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