Growing chard microgreens involves spreading the seeds evenly on a growing medium, misting with water, and providing ample light. The seeds should be lightly covered with a thin layer of the growing medium to facilitate germination. Consistently moistening the growing medium and making sure the microgreens receive adequate light, whether from natural or artificial sources, will support their healthy growth and development.
What You'll Learn
Select the Right Variety of Chard
You’ll want to pick the perfect variety of chard for your microgreens; one that will burst with flavor and color. To identify the best nutrition, you should choose varieties that are known to have a higher nutritional content like Rainbow Chard or Swiss Chard. These types of chards are packed with vitamins A, C, E, K, as well as iron and calcium. Additionally, they contain lutein and zeaxanthin which are both important antioxidants that aid in maintaining eye health.
When choosing varieties for your microgreens, you should also consider flavor and appearance. Rainbow Chard is visually stunning with its vivid colors, while Fordhook Giant has a milder taste than other types of chards. There are many other varieties to choose from, such as Ruby Red, which has deep red veins on bright green leaves, or Golden Chard, which is an heirloom variety with yellow stalks and veins on dark green leaves.
Once you’ve chosen your variety, it’s time to prepare the growing medium by adding soil or compost mix into containers. Place the seeds on top of the soil and cover them lightly before misting them with water a few times each day until germination occurs after several days.
Keep in mind that too much moisture can lead to mold growth, so be sure not to overwater your microgreens.
After germination has occurred, move your container into a sunny area, such as near a window or outside if possible, and continue misting every couple of days until your microgreens reach their desired length–usually around 1-3 inches tall depending on the variety chosen!
With proper care, they should be ready for harvesting within 7-14 days, so get started today!
Prepare the Growing Medium
You’re ready to start growing chard microgreens! Prepare the ideal growing surface by using a mix of peat moss, coconut coir, and vermiculite – an optimal combination for chard microgreens that can retain up to 70% of its water. This will provide better soil nutrition for your microgreens and reduce the risk of disease or pests.
It’s also important to ensure that the container you use is properly sterilized before planting. Plastic containers are preferred over metal since they won’t rust and are easier to clean.
To get started, fill your container with the prepared mix and make sure it’s evenly distributed throughout the entire depth of the container. Then, lightly mist it with water so that it’s slightly damp but not soggy.
Now that you have the right variety of chard selected and your medium prepared, you’re ready to add in your seeds! Sprinkle them on top of the medium as evenly as possible while avoiding clumping or mounding them together in one area. You can use a seed spreader if desired, but this isn’t necessary for most varieties of chard microgreens.
Once done, lightly mist again to keep the seeds moist until they start germinating which should take about 3-5 days depending on conditions such as temperature and light exposure.
To help encourage healthy growth, provide adequate light during their germination period and beyond by setting up either natural sunlight or artificial grow lights nearby at least 8-12 hours each day until harvest time. Keep in mind that too much direct sun may cause scorching, so adjust accordingly when needed.
Additionally, make sure to check frequently for signs of wilting leaves which could indicate too little or too much water. So be sure to maintain adequate moisture throughout their growth cycle by providing regular watering intervals whenever needed.
Finally, once you’ve followed these steps correctly, then all that’s left is harvesting! You’ll know when your chard microgreens are ready when they reach 1-2 inches tall with several sets of true leaves visible – usually about 1-3 weeks after planting depending on conditions like temperature and humidity levels in your environment.
When harvesting time comes around, simply snip off just above soil level with scissors or kitchen shears, then enjoy!
Spread the Seeds
Now it’s time to spread the seeds on top of the medium, so you can enjoy watching your chard microgreens come alive! To do this, take a handful of seeds and scatter them evenly across the top of the medium. Make sure that each seed is spaced out from its neighbors so they have enough room to grow. Aim for about 2-3 inches between each seed. Depending on how much space you have and how many plants you want, adjust your seed spacing accordingly. If needed, use a ruler or tape measure to ensure accuracy with your measurements.
The depth at which you should sow your seeds depends on their size; larger seeds should be sown deeper than smaller ones. Most chard microgreen varieties require a soil depth of about 1/8th inch, but read the back of your seed packet for specific instructions as some may need slightly more or less soil coverage. Use a spoon or trowel to make sure that all of your seeds are buried beneath an even layer of soil before moving on to the next step in growing chard microgreens: watering!
Be careful not to overwater when doing so – too much water can cause mold growth and will ultimately harm your crop. The amount required varies based on temperature and humidity levels but start by giving just enough water until it starts seeping through the bottom of the tray into whatever container it’s sitting in below. Check daily and add more water if necessary – usually only a light misting is enough once or twice per day is sufficient for healthy chard microgreens growth!
Finally, place your tray in an area with bright indirect sunlight for optimal results – direct sun may be too intense and can damage young plants as they try to establish themselves in their new environment. With proper care such as adequate moisture levels, light exposure, air circulation and nutrients over time, you’ll soon have beautiful lush green chard microgreens ready for harvesting!
Water and Light
Ensure your tiny plants are thriving by supplying them with the right amount of water and light. To keep your chard microgreens healthy, you must maintain an appropriate level of moisture in their growing medium. Watering can be done with a spray bottle or watering can. The frequency and quantity of watering will depend on the amount of light, temperature, humidity, and air circulation in the environment.
When it’s hot outside, you may need to water more often than cooler days. If your chard microgreens aren’t getting enough moisture, they’ll start to wilt or dry out quickly. Adjust the amount of light your chard microgreens receive by placing them near a window that gets direct sunlight for several hours each day. You should also consider using grow lights if you don’t have access to natural light sources.
Grow lights allow you to control the intensity and duration of lighting as well as customize its color spectrum for optimal plant growth. Place your lights above or slightly away from the plants to ensure even lighting across all shoots or leaves without any scorching spots from too much exposure to heat or bright white LED lights.
Finally, watch out for signs that indicate problems such as yellowing leaves caused by either too much or too little light — but usually too little — and wilting due to insufficient moisture levels in their soil mix or hydroponic system media. By understanding how best to maintain moisture levels and adjust light conditions according to environmental factors, you can easily grow healthy chard microgreens indoors all year long!
Keep an eye on your chard microgreen’s progress as they spread their roots and reach for the light. It’s important to monitor your microgreens throughout the growth process to ensure successful development.
Monitoring timing, nutrient requirements, temperature, and soil moisture levels are essential tasks in order to achieve a healthy yield of microgreens. Here are some tips on how to monitor your chard microgreens:
- Check the soil regularly for moisture levels – if it’s too wet or too dry, adjust accordingly.
- Monitor the temperature in the area where you’re growing your microgreens – make sure it stays within the recommended range for optimal health and growth.
- Keep track of how long it takes for germination and seedling emergence – this will give you an idea of when to start harvesting them.
- Inspect plants daily for signs of wilting or discoloration – this could be a sign that something is wrong with either the soil or water supply.
These simple steps can help you ensure that your chard microgreens get all of the nutrients and care they need so they can grow into strong, healthy plants that produce a great harvest!
Remember to pay close attention to your plants during each stage of their life cycle. With proper monitoring, you’ll have no problem achieving success!
Harvest and Enjoy!
When your chard microgreens are ready, it’s time to reap the rewards of your hard work and enjoy them! Harvesting is a simple process; you’ll need a pair of scissors or kitchen shears. You should cut just above the soil line and discard the root systems. Be sure to harvest all of the microgreens at once to prevent them from growing too large.
If any roots remain in the soil, don’t worry – they’ll decompose quickly. Once you’ve harvested your chard microgreens, you’ll want to store them properly for maximum freshness. The best way to do this is by placing them in an airtight container lined with paper towels or parchment paper. This will help absorb excess moisture and keep them from wilting or spoiling prematurely.
Additionally, make sure not to overcrowd the container; give each green enough space for air circulation so it doesn’t go bad quickly. If you’re looking for ideas on how to use your freshly-harvested chard microgreens, there are plenty of delicious possibilities!
They can be used raw in salads and sandwiches, sautéed as a side dish alongside proteins like chicken or fish, blended into smoothies for extra nutrition, or even added as a garnish on cakes and other desserts for flavor and presentation! No matter how you decide to use them, these nutrient-packed greens are sure to add something special to any meal.
Chard microgreens offer great nutritional value while also tasting delicious! With proper harvesting and storage techniques followed up by creative uses of this versatile vegetable, you can enjoy these tiny greens in many different ways throughout their short lifespan – making every moment count!