Swiss Chard Plants

Is It Too Late to Till Up My Garden and Start Over?


Blighter added on June 14, 2011 | Answered

I live in Michigan and around the second week of May, I tilled up a plot in my heavy clay soil and brought in topsoil from a local excavator. I enriched the soil with lime and planted. Very few seedlings came up. My lettuces and radishes had no issues, but my Swiss Chard, Spinach and Bush Beans only sprouted less than one-third of the plantings. I know I followed package directions about seed depth and seed spacing. I watered at least every other day unless it rained. The garden is in full sun. What is wrong? (all seed was new)


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ANSWERS
Heather
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on June 17, 2011

I would not give up on the swiss chard and the spinach. These can sometimes have a long germination time and they may just not have come up yet. As to the beans, the excessively wet spring that the midwest has had may have caused some of the seeds to rot in the ground.

I would water based on amount rather than by day. The garden need 2-3" of water a week. If you get that much in rainfall, you do not need to water manually. Also, it is better to water 1-2 times a week deeply rather than everyday shallowly. This will encourage deeper roots on the plants which make for healthier plants.

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