If you think of green sprouts when growing microgreens, you need to get to know the beautiful chard microgreens. With their brightly colored stems and light green leaves, they add much-cherished color to your meals. Why settle for a green salad when you can add orange, yellow, or red chard to it?
Swiss chard microgreens have a sweet, earthy taste, similar to beets, which is no surprise given that they are part of the beet family. They're also full of nutrients like vitamins A, B, C, and K, fiber, and protein. Adding chard microgreens to sandwiches and salads is a fun way to add more nutrients to your diet.
Like other microgreens, Swiss chard microgreens can be grown indoors under growing lights all year round. So if you fall in love with them, you don't have to worry about them going out. Growing chard microgreens is easy, so let's dive into how to do it so you can eat some microgreens!
Good products on Amazon for growing Swiss chard microgreens:
Swiss chard microgreens short info
Rainbow Mixture Chard Microgreens
|Taste:||Similar to beets and spinach, sweet, earthy|
|Rinsing / emptying:||Optional|
|Ideal harvest:||8-12 days|
Growing Swiss chard microgreens
Before you can start growing chard microgreens, you need to collect the materials. Then with a little patience and daily care you will have crisp green in 1-2 weeks that you can enjoy.
In order to grow chard microgreens, you will need a few things to get started:
- Seeds: We recommend the chard seeds from True Leaf Market, which we have listed below.
- Container: You need three shallow planters. One of them should have drainage holes.
- Growing medium: We recommend the seed starter mix from Espoma or coconut-coconut.
- Light: We recommend T5 grow lights. Find our favorites in our Grow Light Guide.
- Spray bottle: Ideally, your bottle should have a fine mist.
- Sharp scissors: Kitchen shears or garden shears work well.
- Heat mat: When you need help keeping the floor at the optimal temperature, heat mats work wonders.
As mentioned above, we really love True Leaf Market's microgreens seeds and here is a list of our favorites to choose from!
While not required, the trays in which you will grow your Swiss chard microgreens should be shallow. There are many benefits to using a microgreens shallow tray, starting with good hydration. The roots don't need a lot of soil, so a little soil in a shallow bowl can keep the soil adequately moist and you don't risk your microgreens drying out too quickly.
You will need three trays to start growing microgreens. One helps with the soil irrigation, one holds the soil and chard seeds, and the other sits on top during the blackout period. The tray with the holes is the one in the middle. The holes help with air circulation and hydration. The bowls can be the same size, but you may find it easier if you have a larger watering bowl. At least you can get by with two trays and cover the seeds with a tea towel.
A window with plenty of sunlight and plenty of natural light will help you grow microgreens, but a grow light will make it a lot easier. You don't need a fancy grow light, but you do need something that you can hold near the chard to make it grow upright and full, rather than being long-legged and leaning forward.
Rainbow Mixture Chard Seeds.
Soaking Swiss chard microgreens seeds isn't necessary, but soaking the seeds for up to a day before planting can be helpful. Soaking makes the seed coats softer and allows the seeds to germinate faster.
It's fine if you don't want to soak the chard seeds prematurely, but you may find that the seeds grow more slowly, adding to your waiting time before harvest.
This is where the fun begins! Now that your chard seeds and materials are ready, it's time to set up the trays.
Fill the tray with holes with growth medium so that it is just below the edge of the tray. Flatten the medium so that the bottom surface is flat. This will prevent the chard seeds from falling into crevices and forming clumps.
They should have a pretty thick density of plants, but you shouldn't have the seeds so close together that the plants overcrowd to the point of death. The seeds should be close together in a thin layer, but not on top of each other.
Chard seeds are slightly larger so you don't need as much seed density to fill the planting area as mustard greens. They are roughly the same size as beet seeds.
Spray the surface of the earth with a water bottle until you have a damp soil, but do not allow puddles or streams to form. Running water moves the seeds around and forms clumps. The seed density should be maintained even after watering.
You don't need to cover the chard seeds with more growing medium. As long as they are in contact with the soil below, they shouldn't have any problems with germination.
Once your chard seeds are moistened, place the third tray on top and set it aside.
Barese dark green Swiss chard microgreens.
Your chard seeds should be left in the dark for 3-4 days and only remove the top shell regularly to spray the soil. You need to keep the soil moist, so you will likely spray the surface 2-3 times a day.
The most important thing to watch out for while keeping your seeds moist is that you don't pour them over. Too much water in the soil can cause mold to grow, and when that happens you'll need to throw away all of the chard microgreens and start over.
At the 3-4 day mark, you should see chard sprouts popping out of the growing medium. They can look a little sickly as they are yellowish and devoid of green, but that's to be expected. Because they had no access to natural light, they couldn't develop chlorophyll, which gives the plants their green color.
If this tray isn't already in another tray, this is the time to do it. Fill the lower bowl with a little water and place the seed bowl in it. Soil irrigation is important after the seeding phase as it prevents mold from growing on the chard microgreens. If necessary, the soil can be sucked up through the holes in the seed tray. This method can also prevent overhydration. Refill the water bowl when it is empty.
This is also the time when you can finally remove the top shell and let your Swiss chard microgreens receive light. The tray should be placed under a grow light for 12-18 hours. This mimics how much sun plants get outside and ensures that your growing microgreens get enough light. If you keep the light near the tray, the chard microgreens won't get leggy.
As the chard grows, the stems will begin to develop color. If you go for ruby red Swiss chard, you'll see dark red stems. If you go for a lighter variety like yellow or orange mangold, don't be alarmed if your chard microgreen retains a yellow or light green color. Their natural yellow or orange color will not be as bright at this early stage of development. When you choose rainbow chard, you have a variety of colors that are beautiful to look at.
You might want to do a little jig when it's time to harvest microgreens, and that's perfectly acceptable! Go ahead and do that first. We're still there when you're done!
The ideal time to harvest Swiss chard microgreens is after they have their cotyledons, the first two leaves to appear, and before the first real leaves develop. This will be 8-12 days after the day you put the seeds on the growing medium.
If you run out of time and your Swiss chard microgreens have their first real leaves, you can still harvest and eat them. You will find that their taste is less sweet, but they should still taste good enough to eat.
Before you harvest, you may notice that seed coats are stuck to the cotyledons. Brush your hand over the tops of the chard leaves to gently peel away the gross seed husks. You won't be happy to find them in your dinner. If some of them don't come off when you run your hand over them, you can just peel them off one at a time.
Use sharp, clean scissors to cut the chard microgreens. Cut the greens just above the ground, making sure the growing medium doesn't get mixed in with your harvested chard microgreens.
You may want to wash your Swiss chard microgreens right after harvesting, but don't do so immediately if you store them in a container. The excess moisture can lead to mold growth or cause the green to spoil more quickly.
Store Swiss chard microgreens in an airtight container or plastic bag. Place a paper towel or two in the container to soak up any excess moisture. They should last up to a week, but the sooner you eat them, the better.
Swiss chard microgreens taste sweet and earthy and get a bit crunchy. If something is wrong and they've been stored for about a week, it's probably time to throw them away and keep growing.
Chard microgreens can be washed when you're ready to eat them, but you don't have to when they look clean. If you've harvested them with no seed coats or growing medium, you know how you grew them and they haven't had any pests, there is no need to wash them unless you need a little rest.
frequently asked Questions
Pink lipstick-chard-micro green.
Q: Can you eat Swiss chard sprouts?
A: You definitely can! Swiss chard microgreens are best eaten before they let their first real leaves grow. They're colorful, cute, and earthy so they'll spice up your salads and sandwiches.
Q: What are the healthiest microgreens?
A: Most microgreens are packed full of vitamins and minerals so you really can't go wrong with whichever type you choose. Swiss chard contains vitamins A, B, C and K as well as fiber, protein and a high proportion of antioxidants. If you're not interested in growing chard microgreens, sunflower, radish, and wheatgrass are other great options.
The green fingers behind this article: