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How to Grow Chard in Hydropinics

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Chard is a great vegetable. It's a neat kind of leafy green many people enjoy on their plates. It's also an opportunity for hydroponics growers.

In some ways, chard is a lot like lettuce -- it has similarities in how its grown and how it endures conditions, and how it's used in salads and other meals. But in some ways, it has more appeal than lettuce because it's one of these trending foods that people are getting interested in for eating healthier.

So how do you grow chard with hydroponics? Here are some steps to succeed with this specific type of hydro crop.

Choose the Right Seeds

You might have a specific idea about which types and varieties of chard you might want. Maybe you are going for regular old Swiss chard which is kind of a generic go-to for supermarkets. Or you might want special varieties like the brightly colored ‘bright lights’ chard, or Fordhook giant or rhubarb. Make sure you get the right seeds for the varieties that you want.

Plant with Room

The next step is to figure out how to situate your chard in the hydroponics garden that you have built. You want to have enough room to come in and access this continually harvested crop. You want to be able to reach around the entire plant and take off leaves or maintain it as necessary.

Look for Tip Burn and Other Problems

Here is one of the major aspects of growing chard in a hydroponic garden. Growers often report something called “tip burn” with chard -- it's because of the lack of calcium in the plant, but the results are pretty bad a lot of the time. You can find black or brown masses inside the plant. Many leaves will have damage. This can make quite a lot of the crop unusable and it can really discourage growers.

Here's the key -- as with any other kind of hydroponics, chard relies on the three big indicators: temperature, humidity and pH value. Specifically, with chard, you want to keep the aboveground plant environment down to about 25° Celsius. Yes, you want to pay attention to water chillers and oxygenate roots, but tweak the above temperatures as well to make sure that the plants don’t still suffer from too much heat. You also want to have proper air circulation and relatively low humidity. You don’t want the plants to dry out, but you don't want those rotten parts, either. As for pH value, keep it around 5.5 to 6.5 for optimal plant health.

Harvest Early

Another big step is the harvest. With chard, many growers recommend harvesting early rather than later. Many plants experience tastes changes as they get bigger and older. For example, cucumbers are another plant that you don't want to harvest too late. With chard, you're going to want to pick those young leaves and let others grows to get the tastiest produce off of your plants.

For more on growing chard and other plants, check out what Dealzer offers growers online.

 
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