Friday, July 1, 2011

Swiss Chard Seed

Last summer I had a couple of Swiss chard plants that did well. I left them in place during the winter, surprised early this year to see they had survived intact through many freezing nights. They came back to life this spring and immediately bolted, growing to 6+ feet tall. I let them grow hoping they would go to seed. The branches were covered with tiny flower pods out of which one would expect seeds to come. But as the plants began to dry up this summer, their reproductive mission over, I didn't realize that the flower pods would dry into seed pods. Each pod is actually filled with numerous tiny seeds so when you plant a "pod" you're actually planting several seeds -- resulting in multiple swiss chard stalks from each pod.

Here's what the plants look like at present:



You can see the countless seed pods hanging on the stems and branches:



I collected a big bowl full to save:



And planted a few to see what would happen -- they immediately sprouted:


They're even sprouting around the base of the plants where they had fallen into the dirt:


So, I'll plant some more this fall when it's cooler -- and try to harvest as many seed pods as I can from the two plants before they all fall off.


  1. Incredible. Nature is a bounteous plenitude.

  2. how do you cook your swiss chard?
    eat it raw?

    i just got a bunch. cut the stems out roasted them and laid the leaves on the roasted stems and baked for ~30minutes

    it was ok. should have mixed in something for flavor