Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Growing Swiss chard hydroponically indoors
This post is an update up on my post of September 11, 2011 titled: "Nothing Beats Beets".
The plant in the photo is the same plant shown on the September 11th post, and it should be obvious that the plant has grown significantly in a little over two weeks.
Although the recommended nutrient level for chard is 1260-1610, I have been growing the chard, along with lettuce, at a TDS level of about 800.
The beets mentioned in the previous post have already been harvested and enjoyed. This chard can be harvested at anytime, so a replacement planting of rhubarb chard is in progress.
When planting beet or chard seeds, the seed is actually a fruit containing several seeds, you should expect several seedlings to come up close together, however, all but the strongest must be removed.
I have found, with beets or chard, that it is best not to wait for true leaves to develop before placing them in the hydroton. The seedlings tend to have a spindly shaft supporting the cotyledon leaves, so I like to give them as much support as possible. When placing the seedlings in the net pots, I rest the cube containing the seedling directly on the bottom of the pot; then I fill the pot with hydroton to just below the cotyledon leaves.
To lessen transplant shock I soak the hydroton in dilute nutrient solution for ten minutes before I begin planting. Additionally, I turn on the pump and flood the tray while I place the seedlings in the tray, then continue flooding for about twenty minutes after planting.
In about three weeks we will have another nice batch of chard.