Harvest Monday, April 24, 2017 – Comparing Transplanted Seedlings

At the end of March I transplanted some of the kale and Swiss chard seedlings I started during January and February into foam ice chest and left them outdoor (unprotected). I knew it was way too early for the Hudson Valley but figure I’d take a chance.

I bumped up the remaining kale and Swiss chard seedlings into 4″ pots. These I moved outdoors during the day and into the garage for the night. Transplanted them into foam ice chest last week.

Early April we had some very cold night (teens and low 20’s), the unprotected kale and Swiss chard that were outdoor (day and night) suffered set backs.

The photos below, all taken yesterday (April 23), illustrate the differences.

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4 Red Winter Kale & 1 Mystery Kale

Four Red Winter Kale and one Mystery Kale (in the center) transplanted end of March.

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Red Winter Kale

Red Winter Kale transplanted mid April

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Peppermint Swiss Chard

Peppermint Swiss Chard transplanted end of March.

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Peppermint Swiss Chard

Peppermint Swiss Chard transplanted mid April.

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Because of our climate, there is nothing to gain by planting out early. So from now on I will have patience and wait until mid April or later to transplant seedlings outdoor.

Lesson learned.

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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

Do visit Dave at Our Happy Acres for more Harvest Monday

About Norma Chang

I am the author/publisher of 2 user-friendly Chinese cookbooks: "My Students' Favorite Chinese Recipes (updated edition)" and "Wokking Your Way to Low Fat Cooking" A gardener who enjoys cooking and eating and loves to think outside the box A garden volunteer at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden Conduct hands-on cooking workshops for teenagers Conduct cultural programs for children and family Conduct healthy cooking classes for adults
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20 Responses to Harvest Monday, April 24, 2017 – Comparing Transplanted Seedlings

  1. Angie@Angie's Recipes says:

    Now I really think I need to get myself a red kale plant because I have never seen one over here..

  2. Michelle says:

    We gardeners are always experimenting, challenging the seasons, which is how we learn. Excellent lesson Norma!

  3. I’m impressed that the early planted chard and kale actually don’t look too bad! So certainly no advantage to planting early, but what a testament to just how tough those plants are to survive such cold temperatures. Thanks for sharing your experiment, Norma!

  4. I think experimentation is key to improving our gardening skills. In the end, we all have our own unique growing conditions. Of course we also have to deal with unpredictable weather, which sure keeps me on my toes! All the kale and chard looks great to me.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Dave,
      The unpredictable weather sure keeps us all on our toes, not to mention the weather swing this year (one day in the high 80’s then back to the 50’s) amazing how the plants are able to cope.

  5. Julie says:

    I think garden experiments are fun and also very helpful. I tried starting kale directly outside this spring instead of transplanting and it worked out well. Of course, we had an early and warm spring, so this may not work in future years.

  6. You never know until you try and as the climate changes, it’s worth checking. All those greens look very good to me.

  7. Margaret says:

    That’s a great little experiment – sometimes we are just too anxious to get things in the ground and get a bit antsy to plant outside when the weather is unusually warm in early spring. We are a bit further behind than you – my kale was just transplanted outside last week and my Swiss chard is just poking through the soil in the basement.

  8. Phuong says:

    Ah the up and down of spring weather, hopefully it’ll warm up soon as we head into May. I’ve never tried kale before, I wonder if it’s prepared the same way as turnip greens. They have shelves and shelves full of flavored vinegars just for their greens here.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Phoung,
      Would you believe the weather forecast for tomorrow night is in the 30’s? Really crazy weather, it was in the 80’s this past Saturday. Yes you can prepare kale the same way as turnip green, I like to stir-fry kale, use in soup, add the tender leaves to salad, etc.

  9. Eva Taylor says:

    Too bad your kale and swiss chard suffered some setbacks, I’m sure they will come back, you have such a green thumb. My garlic is doing well, I added a little plastic cover I bought at the Dollar store to protect them at night, it still gets pretty nippy. Figgy got to spend a few days outside, but fortunately, I pulled him into the garage last night because today it’s brutally cold and relentless rain all day (apparently the system goes all the way down the east coast to the Caribbean!) I hope the spring weather will set in soon, the greenery is bursting and the flowering shrubs are almost ready to explode into bloom!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      Glad to learn your garlic is doing well, if they are hard neck garlic you will be getting garlic scape around mid-June. The weather sure is crazy, one day it is high 80’s next day 50’s, not to mention blustery, having so much problems with my allergy, forced to stay indoors.

  10. Bless you for being the tester bunny, good to know. 🙂 All your greens look fabulous to me, especially keen to get my hands on some peppermint swiss chard, although not sure it would dig the warmer tropical environment I live in.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Anna,
      The only way to know if the peppermint Swiss chard would grow in your area is to give it a try. Grow some in full sun and some in partial shade and see what the outcomes are. Or if you have an area that gets only morning sun that may work.

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