Swiss Chard was one of those things that I used to like growing better than eating. There are so many different colors to feed the eye. But once I used it in Molly Katzen’s Pasta with greens and feta, that changed. So yummy; so pretty; my favorite, just for the looks is any red variety.
So as I started to grow greens under LED lights I became curious as to whether I could make this recipe in the winter with my own greens. Swiss Chard showed up on lists of things that people had grown successfully but there wasn’t much information; it can often be used as a micro or baby green; I think it was even in some baby and micro-mixes that I tried under the lights before I gave up on mixes (that’s a different story).
The seedlings were well beyond micro or baby sized when I blogged about them on February 1, 2015. As I mentioned in that post, I put three of the 2″ soil cubes into 3″, round coir pots. The pictures show them on the right (with some Simpson Elite lettuces in the picture before they are cut, but you can ignore them for this post.) To make it clear, the plants you see in both flats are from the same batch; the ones on the right were potted up. My poor record-keeping would make any real scientist want to shoot me but I don’t think the two flats were treated differently in any other significant way.
The results suggest that Swiss Chard wants deeper soil to mature normally. In the pots, the coloring is better, the stems are wider and the leaf shape is more elongated, more similar to what I would get in the garden. However, all of those characteristics are less than what I would expect from mature chard, grown in the summer garden.
Taste tests next.