- 1 Swiss Chard Microgreens: How Much Swiss Chard Seed to Use?
- 2 Different-sized Swiss Chard Seeds
- 2.1 Steps In Growing Swiss Chard Microgreen Seeds
- 2.2 Blackout Period
- 2.3 Swiss Chard Microgreens Under Lights
- 2.4 Problems With Swiss Chard Microgreens
- 2.5 Harvest Stage
- 2.6 Ready To Grow Swiss Chard Microgreens?
- 2.7 How Do Swiss Chard Microgreens Taste?
- 2.8 Nutrition for Swiss Chard Microgreens
Swiss chard microgreens come in a variety of colors. Our article explains how to grow and how to not grow Swiss chard microgreens of the Ruby Red, Golden Sunrise, and Fantasia Orange varieties.
As Swiss chard microgreens grow, the hard, bark-like seed husk remains on the leaves, much like in beets. 99% of the seed hulls can be removed by our growing method. Swiss chard microgreens are not the easiest to grow but follow our simple steps and you will conquer one of the most common mistakes. In no time at all, you will be being served some delicious Swiss chard microgreens.
Swiss Chard Microgreens: How Much Swiss Chard Seed to Use?
If you read our articles on seed density, you know the density of seedlings refers to the number of plants planted per square inch of planting surface dependent on the finished size of the microgreen. Since home growers are more concerned with growing nutritious microgreens than those who sell them, we believe home microgreen growers should pay more attention to that rule than commercial microgreen growers. Like beets, Swiss chard produces more than one plant. It also shows delayed germination, which makes it a little more difficult to grow.
Different-sized Swiss Chard Seeds
Seeds from Swiss chard aren’t uniformly sized. Variations exist among seed types, as well as within one lot. The yellow chard has the smallest average seed weight, followed by the red chard, and the orange chard has the biggest microgreens seeds. According to our experience, the smaller the seed, the less optimal seed density is needed to produce a full tray of microgreens. Let’s see how that plays out as the seeds grow into microgreens. Finally, we recommend that you use 6.2 grams of Ruby Red Swiss Chard or Golden Sunrise Swiss Chard for your Microgreens Tray.
Steps In Growing Swiss Chard Microgreen Seeds
We did not soak the seeds in cold water. It did not seem to be necessary to soak the seeds before germination. Soils on the trays are not at the top, as with most standard microgreen seeds. Instead, they are below the first ledge. We will cover these seeds with soil. We are not doing so to improve plant germination, but rather, to remove the seed shells as the plant pushes its way through the soil.
This is how we plant Swiss chard in containers. We fill the tray with soil to its second ledge and mist the soil with water with a spray bottle. Do not soak the soil; we do not want to drown it. If the soil is too wet, it may lead to disease issues. Microgreen seeds should be spread as evenly as possible. Put more soil on top of the seeds to cover the seeds fully. We want to keep the soil moist down to the seeds, so we will wet the area that covers the seeds a bit more than the surface.
A blackout is placed over the trays. The Swiss chard microgreen plant is covered with something that makes contact with the soil’s surface, which in this case would be either another tray or the tray lid. The lid is pushed into the soil with the help of a weight. Two to five pounds of weight is sufficient.
To exclude natural light, the tray and weight are covered with a tea towel or some other fabric. Swiss chard seeds are left in the trays like this for a couple of days to germinate and push through the soil level. Five days is a general guideline; the time frame may vary in depth, temperature, humidity, and other factors. Around day 5, however, check on them.
If the soil appears dry and light brown, mist it with water. Then carefully cover the trays again and let them sit for two more days. A blackout was placed during the seedling stage for a total of seven days.
The plant density of Fantasia Orange Swiss chard microgreens is significantly lower than that of the other varieties, as expected by the seed size. However, even though the Ruby Red seeds are only slightly smaller than the Fantasia, the Ruby Red has sufficient seed density. This is likely due to multiple plants growing from the same seed.
If you have grown Rainbow Chard in the garden, then you know that the red chard is more vigorous than the orange and yellow varieties.
Swiss Chard Microgreens Under Lights
Once done, water the Swiss chard microgreens from below and place them in a watering tray. Swiss chard can be grown under almost any inexpensive light. No fancy grow light is needed. The microgreens we had were grown under two cheap shop lights we got from a box store years ago. The goal of this study is to demonstrate that it is not necessary to use special lighting to grow microgreens. However, the higher the light level, the healthier the microgreens.
Problems With Swiss Chard Microgreens
Watering too much
Swiss chard and beets are both highly susceptible to damping-off disease. As far as we can tell, the microgreen stems become soft and collapse at the soil surface. You need to be careful when watering. The cause of the issue is that we added too much water to all three trays using a larger watering tray. It would have been better to dump out any remaining water after 15 or 20 minutes. We sowed the Fantasia Orange Swiss chard microgreens too thinly, so they were unable to sustain a successful 10-day growth cycle. We need to re-test them.
We will skip ahead to the harvest instead of showing the daily progressions. Although these microgreens only just reached harvest height, they could still be grown much longer. Swiss chard microgreens were harvested after 14 days after germination. We expect them to continue to grow well for another 30-days. Possibly with the replanting of Fantasia Orange Swiss chard, we can try that.
Ready To Grow Swiss Chard Microgreens?
As long as you cover the seed with soil and remove the tough, nasty seed husks, Swiss chard microgreens are not difficult to grow. You will need to be patient while they emerge from the soil and grow large enough to be placed under direct sunlight. Make sure not to overwater them. A tiny amount more often than flooding will be better for them. Do these three things, and you’ll have beautiful Swiss chard microgreens.
How Do Swiss Chard Microgreens Taste?
Aside from their stunning colors, Swiss chard microgreens have a pleasant flavor. You can taste a layer of flavor of something between beets and spinach. Perhaps a little sweeter than beets seeds. A variety of dishes are just as good with their earthy flavor. We also add them to tomatoes that have been drizzled with balsamic vinegar, as well as to fresh mozzarella cheese.
Nutrition for Swiss Chard Microgreens
Although we are not nutritional experts, Swiss chard microgreens are believed to have high levels of antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds than mature plants or green vegetables. A good example is lutein, which helps fight macular degeneration and also has anti-inflammatory properties. Swiss chard microgreens are also said to assist with digestion and lower blood pressure. Also, they contain calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and zinc, as well as vitamins A, B, C, E, and K.