How to Grow Baby Chard in Indoors in Containers
Growing baby Swiss chard indoors in containers or pots is a great way to ensure a constant supply of fresh and healthy greens. The crisp and tasty young leaves of Swiss chard can be used in the kitchen to add texture and spinach-like flavor to salads and sandwiches. They can be grown in plastic containers or small pots at home at any time of year, and they germinate relatively fast if you soak them for 24 hours before sowing. The first baby Swiss chard greens will be ready to eat in just two to three weeks from sowing. The rest of this page provides step-by-step instructions on how you can grow Swiss chard as baby leaves or microgreens indoors.
- First, purchase high-quality chard seeds. Good varieties for growing indoors include Fordhook Giant, Bright Lights, Golden Chard, Magenta Sunset, and Ruby Red Swiss Chard. Before sowing your chard seeds, soak them in a glass bowl or jar for 24 hours. This will speed up the germination process.
- Next, create an indoor seed bed for your chard microgreens by filling a wide tray or another plastic container with moist but well-drained potting soil.Sow the chard seeds evenly over the entire soil surface. Because you'll be harvesting the chard tops so young, you won't need any special fertilizers for the soil.
- Cover the container with a clear plastic wrap — this will reduce or even eliminate the need to water until the seedlings emerge. The plastic wrap cover should have small holes to allow some air circulation. As soon as the seeds begin to sprout, remove the cover.
- Next, place the container with the emerging chard seedlings near a south-facing window or another sunny spot in order to ensure your baby chard greens will get plenty of sun every day. If you're afraid your indoor chard garden might not be exposed to enough sunlight, look for a supplemental lighting solution such as grow lights designed for indoor use.
- Supplying the right amount of water is essential to ensuring that your indoor garden produces a bountiful harvest of baby chard, but it can also be quite an art and require some experience. Chard microgreens need their soil to stay moist, but they should never sit in soil flooded with water. For best results, use a spray bottle or a small watering can to keep the soil moist during the entire growing process.
- Swiss chard greens grow relatively fast indoors, yielding tasty and attractive baby greens in about a fortnight. When your baby chard greens have reached the desired size, cut them with kitchen shears close to the soil. Baby chard is harvested just before use, which helps protect their nutritional value and delicate texture.
- With its delicious spinach-like flavor, baby Swiss chard can be used as a substitute for baby spinach. Baby chard is also a common ingredient in mesclun, a salad mix of assorted young salad leaves. Other baby greens commonly included in mesclun include chervil, arugula, lettuce, endives, and mizuna.