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I bought a packet of seeds that comes with 250 seeds! There's no way I have the space to plant 250 Silverbeet plants in my backyard, 10 plants maximum. What should I do with the 240 leftover?

  • What's the shelf life on the packet for the seeds? Is there a seed swap place nearby? – Graham Chiu Jan 20 '17 at 3:24
  • 2
    Oh, and where are you? You want to make sure you plant at the correct time of the year otherwise they might bolt on you. – Graham Chiu Jan 20 '17 at 3:36
  • @GrahamChiu don't worry it's the right climate, season, shelf life 2018 – Joao Noch Jan 20 '17 at 4:07
10

Seed lasts quite a while. It is said at least 30 percent of your seed is non viable the next year but I've seen maybe 10 percent or really normal germination. Keep your excess seed in the dark, plenty of room between seeds, lots of air and between 40 and 55 degrees F. If you know your seeds are dry you can vacuum pack them.

In two weeks plant another round. Save the rest in their package. No problem. It is a good thing to have extra seed in storage.

  • Should I plant two in one spot or more or 1 in 1 spot? – Joao Noch Jan 20 '17 at 4:08
  • Nope, planting 2 in the same spot means you will have to thin and that thinning can damage the roots of the one you want to grow. I NEVER plant in rows!! I like staggering across the tops of my 3' wide raised beds. I even broadcast all my salad stuff to include beets. I'd plant in staggered form like equilateral triangles and you'll get far more production than a row planting. I even plant on the slopes of my raised beds. Do plant closely such as one seed every 3" side and length. You might have to thin but you'll have more success. – stormy Jan 20 '17 at 20:49
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Do you have any seed swap events near you? After making sure I retain enough seeds to get me through an emergency and another years sowing I package them up and take them to a seed swap event.

4

It depends on how much you like Silverbeet (Swiss Chard). I never liked it much so I let ours go to seed, and it would keep popping up every year from self seeding.

If I wanted to grow some, I'd cast some over some seed raising mix ( sterile media ), and once the cotyledons have appeared, I'd prick out the healthiest to transplant into a 6 inch flat filled with soil compost mix planting in a dense hexagonal pattern. Once they reach 6 inches in height, I'd then transplant the healthiest again to their final destination. When they reach an edible height, I'd strip 20% of the outer leaves to eat leaving the younger leaves to keep growing rather then harvest the whole plant in one go. If you really like the stuff, you could start the whole process again in a few weeks though 10 sounds plenty for a small family. But it might be good insurance to do a second planting in case the first goes wrong with the main issue being that the seeds are planted at the wrong time of the year, and it bolts before you get much produce from it.

You can always keep some of the seed when yours will eventually bolt and use your own seed for planting in subsequent years unless it's a hybrid.

3

I generally stick leftover seeds in the refrigerator and that seems to work ok. Since Swiss chard is has a fairly low light requirement, so you could use the leftover seeds for microgreens in the winter

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