4 Replies Latest reply on Dec 11, 2017 2:08 PM by dniezby

    Anatomy of Swiss Chard

    dniezby

      Just curious to learn more about the plants that I grow. I have recently become fascinated by plants since I started growing with a Tower Garden.  It has truly been awesome.  One of the plants I'm growing this time around is Swiss Chard. While I know that Swiss Chard is extremely nutritious, that's about all I know about it.

       

      When learning more about the plants,  I'm curious about the anatomy of them and what manipulation of that anatomy can do.  For example, one indeterminate tomatoes, pruning causes shaping and better fruiting. Trimming basil in the correct spots does similar things. 

       

      There are a few things I was wondering about the Chard.  Does pruning stimulate increased yields? What parts get pruned? 

       

      Also wondering about the different leaves mine seem to have.  There were the original cotyledon leaves and now I have true leaves. My curiosity comes from some additional leaves (pointed out in the attached photo ) that look different than all the rest. Are those leaves special? What are they? Are they leaves that should be pruned, allowed to grow or the first that should be harvested?

       

      IMG_1417.jpg

        • Re: Anatomy of Swiss Chard
          joed

          Hi dniezby, It may be an optical illusion cause by the angle of your photo but it appears your grow lights are mounted too low for proper lighting of the upper tower section hosting that Swiss Chard plant.

           

          You may find this helpful:

           

          TG Growing Guide - Swiss Chard

          http://www.towergarden.com/content/dam/towergarden/resources/Growing%20Guide_SwissChard.pdf

           

          -- [please mark this post as "Correct Answer" (under Actions menu) and/or "Helpful" when appropriate] -- Happy Growing! -JoeD towergarden level2concepts tgtech TG Tech

            • Re: Anatomy of Swiss Chard
              dniezby

              It's not an illusion. I have the height staggered. Warm lights are lower and cool are high. 


              The light you see in this background is a 3200k bulb and its primarily lighting tomatoes and peppers in that end of the tower. I have the standard TG lights focused on my greens and upper 2/3rds of the tower. 


              I also use the reflective bubble insulation to bounce as much light back toward the tower so I don't waste all my light energy lighting the room.  It also seems to be doing a great job of bouncing light from above so my chard and basil get light from a number of directions. 


              So far so good.


              But in regards to my question, I'm used to seeing cotyledon leaves.  Are those leaves, I'm pointing out, usable? They look like the original cotyledon leaves only rougher and larger. They don't look like the chard stalks.  

                • Re: Anatomy of Swiss Chard
                  joed

                  Hi dniezby,

                   

                  "I'm used to seeing cotyledon leaves.  Are those leaves, I'm pointing out, usable? They look like the original cotyledon leaves only rougher and larger"

                   

                  Your Swiss Chard cotyledon are long gone... those are "real" leaves. Swiss Chard is great as a microgreen so it's all eatable from the moment of germination.

                   

                  Swiss_Chard_Cotyledons.jpg

                   

                  "I also use the reflective bubble insulation to bounce as much light back toward the tower so I don't waste all my light energy lighting the room.  It also seems to be doing a great job of bouncing light from above so my chard and basil get light from a number of directions."

                   

                  The benefit your plants receive from grow light reflecting off your bubble insulation is negligible.

                   

                  "It's not an illusion. I have the height staggered. Warm lights are lower and cool are high."

                   

                  Great idea. Unfortunately, directing all four grow lights at any particular plant on the TG is just barely the absolute minimum PAR required for plants to grow without starving for light (as you are starting to notice with your Swiss Chard leaves bending and stretching for light).

                   

                  -- [please mark this post as "Correct Answer" (under Actions menu) and/or "Helpful" when appropriate] -- Happy Growing! -JoeD towergarden level2concepts tgtech TG Tech

                    • Re: Anatomy of Swiss Chard
                      dniezby
                      Those two leaves are the only ones remaining from the time I got all that wilt when the pump timer got shut off by my grandson.  The rest of the plant is growing VERY well. Tall and strait up. That's why those two leaves confused me. 


                       

                      Interesting to know about how soon it's edible.