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Kalyn's Kitchen

Friday Night Photos: Saving the Swiss Chard! (2010 Garden Update #11)

netting over swiss chardAlmost a month ago I asked for ideas about what might be eating my swiss chard. People weighed in with a lot of advice about what pests eat chard leaves, but when I showed the photos from that post to the experts at my favorite garden center, they were unanimous that it was quail eating the swiss chard. They recommended a type of netting that you throw over the plants, so I bought some and crossed my fingers. It took me about a week to get around to cutting the netting and putting it in place, and as you can see in this photo, the chard was starting to grow back.

This was the ravaged chard photo from the earlier garden update that I showed to the garden center expert, but I trimmed these stalks down quite a bit before I put the netting over.

I took this photo on August 13 (when there was too much sun!) and as you can see, the chard is starting to grow back pretty nicely, especially at one end of the rows.

A week later, on August 20, I have some nice-sized leaves on the chard plants, although the rows are still rather skimpy at one end.

If you look closely, you can see the quail are still pecking at any leaves that peek out through the net, so I need to be a little more vigilant at pulling the net up every few days, but mostly the chard has been rescued. (I am also 100% certain it was quail now because I’ve seen them in the act!)

And apparently quail don’t like kale and will barely nibble at collard greens, because these plants in the far end of that same garden bed have barely been touched.

Are you having pest problems in your garden this year? If you have any good tips for taking care of garden pests without chemicals, please let us know about it in the comments.

You can see all my garden updates from this year by using the label 2010 Garden Updates.

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    30 Comments on “Friday Night Photos: Saving the Swiss Chard! (2010 Garden Update #11)”

  1. Tara, only if someone comes over the kill the quail for me. (Actually I think they have lost interest now with the netting.)

  2. Mmm, roast quail with garlic chard…

  3. Sorry to hear about the bad garden year. I have heard of people grating zucchini and freezing it for baking, but I haven't tried it.

  4. Your garden looks wonderful. This yr.we've had the worst yield ever,sorry to say. Question Kalyn,can you freeze zucchini with good results?…thinking of the baking season in a few months. rj

  5. Barb, I don't know if Doves will eat the chard, but after seeing these quail in the act, I certainly wouldn't doubt it!

  6. I love swiss chard and some of mine looks just like
    your picture. I have never seen a quail in this city
    (Toronto, Canada) but we have many doves in our
    yard so maybe they are eating the card. I thought it
    was earwigs or slugs. Very interesting.

  7. Shirley, I was skeptical, but I saw the quail walk right up to the plants and try to eat the greens through the netting!

  8. I'm so glad you gave us a follow-up report, Kalyn! Like everyone else, I'm surprised it really was quail. Well, when we raised finches, they needed their greens, too. I'm sure "your" quails are getting their greens some other way now … or from someone else's garden! 😉


  9. I'm glad that the problem was physical rather than pest or disease related. At least you don't have to remedy the situation with chemicals.