Mangold also strives to multiply. Under certain circumstances, the flower shoots earlier than expected, much to the gardener’s annoyance. But does that mean the green is really no longer edible?

Optical change of the leaves

With the beginning of flowering, the chard plant continues to sprout new leaves. However, they are visibly different from the old ones. The more the flower stalk gains in height, the smaller the new shoots will be. But size alone is not a criterion that stands in the way of good taste. In addition, there are usually some of the old, larger leaves on the plant that have not yet been harvested.


There is a fear that chard leaves are no longer healthy for us during or after flowering and are therefore not edible. Harmful substances could have been stored in a concentration that is dangerous for the human organism. We know this from some other leafy vegetables, such as spinach, which store plenty of harmful nitrate during flowering.

In fact, when chard shoots, it also increases levels of a substance known as oxalic acid. If a person ingests large amounts of it, kidney stones can form. But this information, which certainly sounds worrying for many, can be followed immediately by the all-clear: the increased values ​​were only measured in the leaf stalks. Even then, they would have to be consumed in large quantities to be truly harmful. The green leaves pose no danger anyway.

Note: People who already suffer from kidney problems should be more careful. It is more advisable for them to avoid it so that their weakened kidneys do not face the challenge of having to cope with more oxalic acid.

The typical taste suffers

The last point that could put an abrupt end to harvesting is the taste. Does it remain mild, as we know it from the delicate leaves before flowering? No! The leaves often take on a more bitter note, which can be described as tart at best. Some plants tend to change the leaf structure. Their leaves become fibrous, which is uncomfortable when eating. Everyone can easily find out for themselves whether their own chard in the garden is still tender and can still be eaten with the new taste. Simply harvest, prepare and taste some of the leaves.

Save part of the harvest

The fact that Mangold is shooting is not immediately apparent at first glance. Because it takes a few days for a flower stalk to emerge from the lush “forest of leaves”. However, this also wastes valuable time in which the owner could act to at least save what can still be saved.

  • regularly take a closer look when harvesting
  • there may already be a beginning of a flower
  • remove it immediately
  • If the flower has already been cut, cut back the entire plant if necessary
  • a new shoot often follows with fresh, tender leaves
Tip: Pay particular attention to Swiss chard that was sown the previous year. Going through a colder period, it shoots more frequently than newly seeded specimens.

Arrange yourself with the flower

If an owner has already been able to harvest and enjoy the chard well, the onset of flowering may not hurt so much. Even less if there are other plants in the garden to harvest. You can then remove the chard plants from the garden or allow them to bloom to provide new seeds. But this is only worthwhile if they are not hybrid varieties.

If you want to pick fresh chard leaves again soon, you should sow the leafy vegetables again as soon as possible after tearing them out. If this happens by mid-September, it will still provide usable leaves in the current garden year.

Tip: If the flowering period is just beginning, you should at least harvest all the leaves immediately, as long as they have not yet lost their typical chard taste. What you can’t use fresh, just freeze for later.

prevent height growth

It cannot be completely ruled out that a chard will shoot. Because the cold, warm and dry factors that can drive them to bloom earlier are not in our hands. Luckily Swiss chard doesn’t tend to shoot too much like spinach, for example. If you also observe a few points, nothing stands in the way of a long harvest time.

  • grow a bolt-resistant variety
  • for example Walliser or Lukullus
  • Follow the growing instructions, especially don’t sow too early
  • Temperatures below 10 °C should be avoided
  • Fertilize as needed and water evenly

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