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.



7 comments:

bzwart said...

Hi Jack, I was curious what state you reside in? Do you heat your greenhouse in the Winter? I live in Wisconsin and am considering a greenhouse if I could use it in the Winter however I have my doubts.

Great blog, I just found it recently and have found it very interesting.

Jack said...

I live in upstate New York. The greenhouse adds a few months to my gardening season. I do not use it in the winter, say from mid November through to mid April. It is simply too costly to heat, and there is not enough sunlight to really sustain growth during that period. I have taken to growing chard, beet greens and lettuce indoors under lights all year long. I have complete control over the conditions indoors as the basement temperature is pretty consistent year round.

KissTheGirl said...

How long does it take you to grow swiss chard?

I think I've allowed mine to get too leggy.

Can it be grown within a month?

Also, what nutrients do you use for growing your swiss chard.

Thank you!
Mike

Jack said...

Chard takes a little longer than lettuce, about five or six weeks. If yours is leggy it is most likely not getting enough, or strong enough, light. I use Peters Professional hydroponic nutrients and for chard I bump the pH up to 7

Anonymous said...

What EC are you using for your chard?

Jack said...

The EC is about 1.2

IT2AGRI said...

Great, Exactly the info i was looking on swiss chard. Thanks!