SWISS CHARDS

Swiss Chards are cold seasoned biennial ( 2 years to complete life cycle) vegetables and come in beautiful vibrant colours, livening up any salads.

We don’t see them on our supermarkets’ shelves and thus decided to grow from seeds.

As they belonged to the beets family, their seeds are similar looking as well.

Cold seasoned salads from seeds

Rainbow Swiss Chard

Cold seasoned salads from seeds

Fordhook Giant – Pink Stem

Germination Tips –

  • Sow on very wet medium
  • Preferred darkness
  • Maintain wet medium until roots showed
  • Soaked seeds for 20 minutes if sowed directly on soil, slightly buried
Cold Seasoned salads from seeds

2018 Sept 11 – Rainbow seeds sowed

Cold seasoned salads from seeds

2018 September 14

RAINBOW SWISS CHARDS

The distinctive colors of rainbow Swiss Chard was visible before seed leaves showed. As the seedlings grew, these colors become more vivid.

YELLOW HUE

Cold seasoned salads from seeds

2018 September 17 – yellow hint

Seeds husk was still attached as the roots grew longer when this seedling was about 6 days old.

Cold seasoned salads from seeds

2018 Sept 19 –  6 days old

Seed leaves showed on the 7th day as the roots developed mass. The yellow hue is brighter on the stem.

Cold seasoned salads from seeds

2018 Sept 21

Cold seasoned salads from seeds

2018 October 04

Cold seasoned salads from seeds

2018 October 10

RED HUE

Sometimes when the seed germinated this way, they are actually 2 seedlings.

Cold seasoned salads from seeds

2018 September 17 – RED + Green

Cold seasoned salads from seeds

2018 Sept 19 – Vivid Red

Cold seasoned salads from seeds

2018 Sept 20 – 6 days old

Cold seasoned salads from seeds

Red Swiss Chard

FORDHOOK Giant

 

Cold seasoned salads from seeds

2018 September 14

Cold seasoned salads from seeds

2018 Sept 30 – Pinkish stem

Cold seasoned salads from seeds

Swiss Chards varieties

Swiss Chard has the texture of Romaine and each leaf is very tasteful and juicy. In salad bowls, they add color and vibrancy.

Cold seasoned salads from seeds

2018 October 9

We will be starting new batches of Swiss Chard and other cold seasoned vegetables for salads after tasting how great they were freshly harvested from our indoor gardens!

 

Cold seasoned salads from seeds in containers

Home Grown “Rainbow” !

 

SEEDS ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE !

Notes on Swiss Chard

  • 3 – 4 days to germinate
  • Harvest stage around 2 months
  • Seeds like very wet medium
  • Small leaves can be used in salads
  • Bigger leaves for light stir fry
  • Stems typically steamed like asparagus
  • Full sun or partial shade, not fussy
  • If soil, pot need to be deeper, mulch on top soil to prevent heat from penetrating (similar to strawberry outdoor)
  • Mature leaves are crinkled, thick, juicy ( I love them raw for the texture)
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Apartments’ Rice Paddies

Featured

Update 2018 – Hydro Rice in natural nutrients began! Test trials underway.

In land scarce Singapore, it is not impossible to grow rice for fun and where space allowed, for our own consumption. I thought this is a great gardening project to do with children as well. Hopefully with the experience, our urban kids will  know how difficult it is to harvest just one cup of rice and learned to cherish every morsel of grain on their plate. 🙂

Apartment rice paddy

2015 February 24  – Ms. Serena Ganesh’s home grown grains

Serena Ganesh's rice grains before they turned brown

Serena Ganesh’s rice grains before they turned brown

This is a labor of love for Serena Ganesh’s family! She harvested her grains by hand peeling each husk after other attempts failed. Members from our gardening group (SG Farming in Apartments), such as Edmund Gan, recommended to wait till the stalks are fully golden brown before grinding the husks on a sieve to separate the grains.

Grow rice in containers

Feb 25 2016 – Serena Ganesh hand split and peeled husks from rice

Tips for Growing rice:

  1. Soak seeds 24 – 36 hours before sowing to very wet medium
  2. Roots appeared 3 – 7 days in a sunny area
  3. Need strong sunlight
  4. Maintain seedlings in very moist medium until 2nd month

More gardeners’ journals –

Grow rice in pots

2016 February 27  –  soaked grains for 24 hours before sowing on really moist towels.

How to grow rice

2018 February 11 – Sowed on Japanese Grow cloth

Grow rice from seeds in Singapore

2018 February 16 – Germination

Budi Widodo grew rice along his apartment’s corridor, where he has about 6 hours of indirect sunlight. After his seeds germinated on wet towels, he would plant them here before transplanting to a deeper trough until harvest day.

Grow rice in pots

Budi Widodo cut holes on the side of his “pot” to drain water when it rained

Grow rice in pot

Budi Widodo’s rice paddy trough

For soil sowing, William Toh recommended to thoroughly mix potting soil with water until its muddy and then add more water till it covered the soil, before planting grains in the mud pool.

February 3 2016 - William Toh's rice paddy in cookie jar

2016 February 3 – William Toh’s rice paddy in cookie jar

Grow rice in pots

William Toh’s rice paddy in cookie jar “incubator”

William Toh - This is how wet the soil needs to be

William Toh – This is how wet the soil needs to be

Grow rice in pot

Feb 15 2016 – William Toh’s rice are growing well

 

The key for a good rice harvest 🙂 is to keep the soil constantly moist and to grow them in warm sunny places.

The International Rice Research Institute also recommended to prepare the soil well with 7:2:1 ratio of potting soil, manure/compost and rice husks, mixed thoroughly with water for the young seedlings to thrive.

Grow rice from seeds

Prototype of rice growing on river (natural nutrients)

I liked to share pictures from Serena Ganesh’s mature rice paddy 🙂 See how big this crop grew ?!  For interested gardeners, do consider a bigger pot than a cookie jar for a more bountiful harvest! 🙂

Grow rice in pot

Serena Ganesh’s potted rice paddy

Grow rice in pot

Serena Ganesh’s potted rice from seeds

2018 June 24 – I was surprised to see grains on plants started in PET bottles with only 4 inch of soil!

Growing rice indoors

June 24 2018

Grow rice indoors

Rice grains

It would take 4 – 5 months from seeds to harvest day.

Last but not least, please remember to check and change the stagnant water in our rice paddy “fields” for mosquitoes breeding, while enjoying our gardening projects! 🙂

HYDROPONIC RICE – SG STRAWBERRIES’ Journal 

A few batches were started for study, beginning on January 11 through April 2018.

Seeds germination rate is almost 100% within 7 days after soaking for 3 days.

As there was no room in my apartment for big pots and still being able to access strong sunlight, I will be growing rice in hydroponic! 🙂 These were how our rice began their journey –

Grow rice from seeds

Soaking for 36 hours

Grow rice from seeds

Germination stages

Grow rice from seeds

4 days old seedling

Rice paddies in apartments

2 weeks old

Grow rice from seeds

2018 February 26 – roots

How to grow rice

2018 January 14 – single shoot 

How to grow rice from seeds

Planted in mini net cup – 2 shoots on Jan 18!

How to grow rice from seeds

2018 Feb 14 – multiple shoots in a month!

Grow rice from seeds husks

Interesting “fur” on shoots

Grow rice from seeds

One month old roots (Feb 14 2018, germinated on Jan 11)

Grow rice from seeds

Stroking roots!

Hydro seedlings were not successful, thus most were transferred to soil in late March 2018. The leaves were brown and limp in all the liquid nutrients I tried.

Grow rice from seeds in Singapore

2018 April 18 – Hydro failed

First grains spotted on June 22 2018.

Grow rice from seeds in Singapore

In outdoor pots

Grow rice from seeds in Singapore

They felt gritty!

Grow rice from seeds in Singapore

Rice Grains

WHEN TO HARVEST GRAINS?

The grains are best left to dry on plant.

They should look completely brown (straw colour) before we cut the stalk off the plant. When pressed, the grain is firm and does not break easily.

They do not mature evenly, thus we usually wait till almost all the grains are brown or less green. These dried grains are also future rice seeds.

Grow rice from seeds in containers

Not yet ready to harvest

 

From our own grains, we germinated second generation rice seedlings on October 4th 2018.

Grow rice from seeds in pots

2018 August 04 harvest

Seedlings were planted in outdoor pots rather than PET bottles this time. For better harvest, they need to be planted in bigger pots or grounded. This time, the seedlings were planted in 80 Liters pot.

Grow rice from seeds in pots

Planting rice seedlings

Grow rice from seeds in pots

2018 October 26 outdoor

Grow Rice from seeds in Singapore

2018 December 12

In deeper pots, rice seedlings were relatively easy to grow and “fruit” on time. Instead of 5 months in shallow PET bottles, where the roots had no place to form well, these plant showed grains in less than 4 months. Thus plant them in deeper pots for abundant and easier harvest.

Grow rice from seeds in containers

2019 January 19

 

2019 – BLACK & WILD VARIETIES 

BLACK PIEDMONT RICE – These seeds were sowed on February 11 and germinated 2 days later on the 13th.

Grow rice from seeds in containers

February 14 – Italian Wild variety

It would be interesting to see how they progressed and compared to the grains from our first journal.

Grow rice from seeds in containers

2019 February 17

They were planted in plastic clear bottle “incubator” to observe roots development. At this stage, we would be keeping the soil very moist while preventing mosquitoes’ breeding by enclosing seedlings in this makeshift greenhouse.

Grow rice from seeds in containers

Planted in soil

Transparent containers also allowed us to observe how roots grew in the early stages. Lessons learned from the first journal, were that seedlings planted in shallow pots or with too many seedlings, took a longer time to show grains. We hypothesized that roots with more room will grow faster with more abundant harvest.

Grow rice from seeds in containers

Incubator

These incubators could be used as a teaching aid to observe rice seedling’s progress closely.

Grow rice seedlings from seeds in containers

2019 February 20

 

SG STRAWBERRIES’ Grow Rice  journal till June 26 2018

 

Seeds or Seedlings available for sale in SHOP !

Grow rice seedlings from seeds in containers

RICE Seedling