How to Grow Colorful Swiss Chard Microgreens Without Nasty Seed Husks

There are several very colorful varieties of Swiss chard microgreens. This article shows you how to grow (and not grow) Ruby Red, Golden Sunrise, and Fantasia Orange Swiss chard microgreens.

Like beets, Swiss chard microgreens often retain the hard, bark-like seed husk on the leaves as they grow.

We will explain our growing method, which removes 99% of these nasty husks.

growing beet microgreen seeds

A nasty seed hull or husk.

Swiss chard microgreens aren't the easiest to grow, but follow our steps and overcome one of the most common mistakes. You'll soon be enjoying these tasty microgreens.

golden sunrise yellow swiss chard microgreens
ruby red swiss chard microgreens

Swiss Chard Microgreens

You may have noticed that we only showed you two of the three Swiss chard microgreens mentioned in the introduction.

Above is Golden Sunrise and Ruby Red Swiss chard. Click any image in this article to expand it for better viewing. But where is the Fantasia Orange chard?

We had some problems with it -- No problem with the variety, or the seed, or the planting method.

Rather, it was a problem with watering, lack of care, and laziness.

But more about that when we discuss caring for Swiss chard microgreens.

Interested in Growing Swiss Chard Microgreens?

First, click either of the images below, and you'll open a new window to the Swiss chard microgreen seed product page in the Home Microgreens Store. Enter Swiss chard into the search box to see all of the varieties.

Ruby red swiss chard microgreens harvested
golden sunrise swiss chard microgreens harvested

Listen to an Audio Version of the Article

We don't just read the article word for word in the audio version; it's a stand on its own piece of content that includes more details on the topic. These can include more tips, opinions, details, data, and information on this and related topics. 

The Microgreens Podcast Episode 012

How Much Swiss Chard Microgreen Seed to Use?

If you've read our articles on seed density, you know that seeding density comes down to the number of plants per square inch of planting surface based on the finished size of the microgreen.

We believe home microgreen growers need to pay more attention to that rule than commercial growers. Since home growers are more concerned with growing nutritious microgreens than those that sell them. 

What makes this a little more challenging, like beets, Swiss chard seeds often produce more than one plant.  They also show delayed germination.

late germinating swiss chard seeds

So our first initial go-around was more or less a guess based on our previous results with Bull's Blood Beet microgreens.

Different Size Swiss Chard Seeds

Below are the Swiss Chard microgreen seeds of the three varieties we planted. In each tablespoon is 6-grams of seed. Click on the photo to expand the size for better viewing.

Ruby red swiss chard seed

Ruby Red Swiss Chard Seed - 6-grams.

Orange swiss chard seed

Fantasia Orange Swiss Chard Seed - 6-grams.

golden sunrise yellow swiss chard seed

Golden Sunrise Swiss Chard Seed - 6-grams.

As you can see below, Swiss chard seeds aren't uniform in size. 

Not only amongst varieties, but even the same seed lot has variation. 

The orange chard has the largest seeds, followed by the red chard, and the yellow variety has much smaller seeds. 

In our experience, the smaller the seed, the less mass of that seed you need to produce a full tray of microgreens.  Let's see how that plays out as these seeds grow into microgreens.

In the end, we recommend to use 6.2-grams of Ruby Red or Golden Sunrise Swiss Chard for our Home Microgreens Tray.

The Steps to Planting Swiss Chard Microgreen Seeds

Below are Home Microgreens Trays planted with the above seeds.

ruby red swiss chard

Ruby Red Swiss Chard Seeds Planted.

Fantasia orange Swiss Chard Seeds planted

Fantasia Orange Swiss Chard seeds planted.

yellow swiss chard seeds

Golden Sunrise Swiss Chard seeds planted.

We did not soak the seeds.

There was no issue with germination without soaking the seeds using the method below.

Notice that the trays' soil level is not at the top like we usually plant microgreen seeds. Instead, the soil level is down to the first ledge on the Home Microgreens Tray ( a great feature our trays have). 

This is because we are going to cover these seeds with soil. Not to improve germination, but rather, the seed husks will be removed as the plant forces its way through the soil.

dry soil placed over the top of bull's blood beet microgreen seeds

Here's how we plant Swiss chard seeds. We fill the tray with soil to the second ledge and mist it with water to wet that soil surface.

Only wet the surface; we don't want to soak all of the soil profile. If the soil is too wet, it can lead to disease issues.

Spread the microgreen seeds as evenly as possible.

Cover the seeds with more soil, right to the top of the tray.

Wet the soil covering the seeds a bit more than the first surface; we want the soil moist down to the seeds.

Do You Have a Pinterest Microgreen Board?

If not, why not start one! Use this pin as the first or add to your existing boards.

swiss chard microgreens

Blackout Period

The trays are placed into a blackout.

For Swiss chard microgreens, this means that we cover the soil surface with another tray, the tray lid, or something else that makes contact with the soil. 

A weight is placed on top to push the lid onto the soil surface. Two to five pounds of weight is good.

Then the tray and weight are covered with a tea towel or some other fabric to exclude light. 

soil for microgreens test weighted trays

Two and a half pound weights added to the top of the tray covers. A towel is placed over the trays to exclude light.

The trays are left like this for 5-days to let the Swiss chard seeds germinate and start to push up through the soil. Five days is a guideline; it may vary a day or two depending on the temperature, humidity levels, how deep the seeds are buried, and other factors.

But check on them around day 5. Most likely, they will look like the ones below.

ruby red swiss chard seeds

Ruby Red Swiss Chard plants starting to poke through the soil on day 5.

orange swiss chard seeds

Fantasia Orange Swiss Chard plants starting to poke through the soil on day 5.

yellow swiss chard seeds

Golden Sunrise Swiss Chard poking through the soil on day 5.

However, these young microgreens are not ready to be removed from the blackout. 

Mist them with water if the soil is light brown and appears dry. 

Then carefully place the covers back on the trays and leave them for two more days.

These microgreens remained in the blackout for a total of 7-days.

Below is a photo of the Swiss chard microgreens 7-days have planting. 

swiss chard microgreens coming out of the blackout

Left to right - Ruby Red, Fantasia Orange, Sunrise Yellow Swiss chard microgreens.

We Use These Microgreen Trays

We use Bootstrap Farmer Shallow Heavy-duty trays when we plant 1010 or 1020 trays. We also use their deeper trays to plant peas or other uses.

These trays will never be damaged with normal use.

When we grow microgreens for ourselves we use the Home Microgreens Trays & Soil. We like the amount of microgreens these trays grow and we find we can either stagger plantings or double up trays to fit our microgreen needs.

Notice the middle tray, the Fantasia Orange Swiss chard microgreens, as expected, plant density is lower than the other as predicted by the seed size. 

Surprisingly, the Ruby Red has enough seeding density even though the seeds are only slightly smaller than the Fantasia. This is probably due to multiple plant germination from one seed.

Also, if you've grown Rainbow Chard (really just a mixture of seeds, not a variety) in the garden, then you know that the red chard is more vigorous than the orange and yellow. Below is a bunch I grew this year.

rainbow swiss chard

Putting the Swiss Chard Microgreens Under Lights

At this point, place the Swiss chard microgreens in a watering tray and give it a drink from below.

If you're just beginning to grow microgreens and want to know more about these terms and actions, see the video on the Home Microgreens Home page.

We found that almost any light will work for Swiss chard microgreens. No fancy grow light; in fact, the Swiss chard microgreens shown in this article were grown under two 4,000K cheap shop lights bought years ago at a box store.

microgreen lights

Lights we used to grow Swiss chard microgreens (not chard under them in the photo). We recommend lights with more Daylight color now, and NO chains. They are a PITA. Rather use something under the trays to lift toward the light.

We want to show that it doesn't take special lights to grow microgreens. Although, generally, the better the light, the better the microgreens.

Here are the inexpensive lights we recommend. They cost less than $8 each.

The Biggest Problem With Swiss Chard Microgreens (and Beets)!


Swiss chard and beets are very susceptible to damping-off disease (I guess).

At least that's what it looks like. The stems of the microgreens get soft at the soil surface and collapse.

damping off disease in swiss chard

Over-watered these Fantasia Orange Swiss chard microgreens and they succumbed to damping-off disease.

The take-away here is to be careful when you water. The cause of the above issue is I watered all three of the trays using a larger watering tray and added too much.

Instead, I should've dumped out any remaining water after 15- or 20-minutes.

That was the end of the Fantasia Orange Swiss chard microgreens 10-days in. It's okay, though, the seeding density is too low, and they need to be re-tested. 

Skip To The Harvest

Instead of showing you daily progressions, we'll skip ahead to the last day we took photos.

However, these microgreens could still be grown much longer. They only just reached harvest height. 

The Swiss chard microgreens below are 14-days old. So from seed to harvest in 14-days. We expect that they would continue to grow fine up to 30-days.

Maybe we will try that with the re-planting of the Fantasia Orange Swiss chard. 

Planted a new tray! I'll either add the information here or create a new article and link to it here. Subscribe to get updates and we'll let you know when we have results on Fantasia Orange Swiss Chard Microgreens

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Below are photos of the Ruby Red Swiss Chard and Golden Sunrise Swiss Chard 14-days after planting. Click image  to expand.

ruby red swiss chard microgreens
golden sunrise yellow swiss chard microgreens

Are You Ready To Grow Swiss Chard Microgreens? Do These Things.

Swiss chard microgreens aren't that difficult to grow as long as you cover up the seed with soil to remove the tough, nasty seed husks.

Be patient as they take some time to emerge from the soil and grow large enough to be placed under the lights.

Try not to overwater them. Small amounts of water more often are better than flooding the watering tray.

Do those three simple things, and you'll be rewarded with beautiful Swiss chard microgreens.

What Do Swiss Chard Microgreens Taste Like?

Besides their stunning colors, Swiss chard microgreens have an interesting flavor.

It's a mild earthy flavor, somewhere between that of beets and spinach. Maybe a bit sweeter than beets. 

They add another layer of flavor to salads. We also use them on tomatoes that have been drizzled with balsamic vinegar and with fresh mozzarella cheese. 

Swiss Chard Microgreen Nutrition

We are not nutritionists, but Swiss chard microgreens have been reported to have high levels of antioxidants.

Such as lutein, reported to help protect your eyes and skin from macular degeneration and also has inflammatory properties. 

Also, chard microgreens are reported to lower blood pressure and help with digestion.

Swiss chard microgreens contain vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc.

Want to Give Swiss Chard Microgreens a Try?

Click either of the photos of harvested Swiss chard microgreens below to buy seed from the Home Microgreens Store.

We will even be mixing these Swiss chard microgreens into a mix so you can grow Rainbow Swiss Chard Microgreens at home!

Ruby red swiss chard microgreens harvested
golden sunrise swiss chard microgreens harvested
home microgreens

Home Microgreens Store

All the supplies and microgreen seeds you need to grow beautiful and nutritious microgreens at home!

Our prices are as competitive as the larger seed sellers. We also have our own soil, microgreen kits, and trays!

Give Swiss Chard Microgreens A Try & Let Us Know

Leave a comment below if you're excited to grow Swiss chard microgreens and which variety you want to try or is your favorite! 

Author of this Article is Todd

Todd is the founder of Home Microgreens & the Home Microgreens store. He also writes for several other websites, including

His microgreens have appeared in Better Homes & Garden magazine and other websites.
Todd worked at a large farm market, garden & nursery center for 20-years. Somehow he snuck off to become a geologist and professor before coming back to his senses to write & lecture about microgreens and gardening. He will be in the garden, trout stream, or on a mountain trail with his Springer Spaniel Caden when not at the computer.

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The Home Microgreen Store has all the supplies you need to grow microgreens at home. 

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