Beta vulgaris subsp. cicla ‘Pink Lipstick’
Swiss chard pink lipstick (Beta vulgaris subsp. cicla ‘Pink Lipstick’) microgreens have brilliant magenta stems, and beautiful emerald green cotyledons (embryo leaves). They’re crunchy and have a delicate mild beet flavor, perfect in salads, pasta, pizza, bruschetta, soups, or as a gourmet garnish.
Common Name: Swiss Chard ‘Pink Lipstick’
Scientific Name: Beta vulgaris subsp. cicla var. ‘Pink Lipstick’
Other Names: Silver Beet, Seakale beet, Perpetual Spinach
Family Name: Amaranthaceae
Flavor: Crunchy, Mild Beet Flavor
Seed Rate: 25g-30g per 10″ x 20″ tray
Seeds Per in2: 0.125g-0.15g
Avg. Yeild/1020 Tray: 135-210g
Pre-Soak: 0-4 Hours
Weight Duration: 3-4 Days
Germination Time: 2-3 Days
Blackout Time: 1-2 Days
Harvest Time: 8-15 Days
Growing Difficulty: Moderate
Did You Know
Swiss chard is not native or from Switzerland. It’s native to coastal Mediterranean regions. Scientists and botanists believe that the name “Swiss” was derived from Gaspard Bauhin, also called Casper Bauhin, a Swiss botanist, who was the first to characterize the key features of this plant.
Plant Details &
How To Grow Swiss Chard Pink Lipstick Microgreens
Swiss chard pink lipstick is a fantastic microgreen, boasting beauty and a fresh beet flavor, making a perfect garnish or addition to any salad. Swiss chard is a slower-growing species, taking anywhere from 8-15 days until harvest. The best thing about chard is that it’s a powerhouse in terms of nutrition!
They can be grown hydroponically, but I recommend growing them in good quality soil. So let’s get started!
Step 1 Preparing Your Swiss Chard Pink Lipstick Seeds
First, you need to measure your seeds using a scale. The best seeding rate for a 10″ × 20″ tray is 25-30 grams. If you plan to grow them in a 10″ × 10″ tray then simply divide the total amount by two, in this case, 12.5-15 grams.
If you’re a renegade like me you can just eyeball it without weighing, just make sure that your seeds are approx ⅛-¼” (3-6mm) apart.
Once you’ve measured out your seeds you should first rinse them under running water in a colander to rinse off any dirt, dust, or contaminants on the seeds.
Next, place them in a container or large bowl and fill them with water approximately 2 inches above the seeds as they will soak up water during this step, this is called imbibition.
Leave the seeds to soak for 0-4 hours, do not soak them any longer than 12 hours or you risk drowning the seeds. Once they have soaked and expanded in size rinse them under running water one last time and drain thoroughly.
Step 2 Sowing Your Seeds
Fill your tray with your preferred medium, it can be soil, potting mix, coco coir, etc, leaving 1-2cm of empty space from the tray edge to the soil level.
Leaving a small space between the tray edge and grow medium helps when it comes to harvesting, minimizing the chance of digging into the medium with your knife.
Mist your medium with a spray bottle so it’s damp but not saturated and finally spread your seeds evenly across the medium making sure they’re evenly spread out. Lastly, mist your seeds so they’re all covered with a fine mist of water.
Step 3 Germination & Weight Period
Grab an empty tray with no holes and place it on top of your sowed seeds. I use a 15lb (6.80kg) paving block for 10″ × 20″ trays or a 7lb (3.17 kg) brick on 10″ × 10″ trays.
This helps the seed radicle to bury into the medium when it emerges. Without weight, the radicles have a tougher time digging into the growing medium.
Keep in mind that the seeds will germinate while they’re covered and weighed down. A lot of people confuse the germination and weight period to be independent of one another and that you add them together, this is incorrect.
The germination time is there to give you an idea by what time the seeds will germinate, but you don’t add the germination time and blackout period together.
While your seeds are germinating and are weighed down you will need to keep your medium moist. You can do this by lightly misting your seeds every 12 hours, once in the morning and once at night.
Step 4 Blackout Time
After 3-4 days of weight period, the seeds should have germinated and the seedlings should now be lifting the tray with the weight in it. It’s now time to remove the weight and start the blackout period.
Take out the weight from your empty tray and flip it upside down to create a blackout dome and place it back over your seeds.
Keeping them in the dark for 1-2 days will force the freshly sprouted seedlings to stretch and search for light allowing them to get some height.
You can now start bottom watering your microgreens. To do this you simply add water to your bottom drain tray. I personally add 1 cup of water twice a day (every 12 hours), once in the morning and once in the evening.
When the 1-2 days of blackout time have passed you can remove the top tray/blackout dome and introduce your microgreens to light. I’ve found that 17 hours under lights and 7 hours with the lights off work well for me.
Grow your Swiss Chard Pink Lipstick microgreens anywhere from 8-15 days, following with daily watering of 2 cups per day, once every 12 hours.
Step 5 Harvest
Harvesting your swiss chard pink lipstick microgreens is easy and you only need a sharp knife. I personally love and recommend the Green Mercer Produce Knife. If you prefer using scissors then you can’t go wrong with these heavy duty scissors!
Just make sure your knife or scissors are not coming into contact with your soil while you’re cutting to avoid contaminating your crop with dirt.
Plant Details & Taxonomy
Beta vulgaris subsp. cicla var. ‘Pink Lipstick’ is the queen of common names, most commonly known as swiss chard, but it has many other names such as silverbeet, seakale beet, leaf beet, and many more. Pink lipstick swiss chard has beautiful deep green leaves with hot magenta stems.
Recently it started gaining popularity when grown as a microgreen due to the beautiful color it produces. The mild beet flavor of pink lipstick is perfect in salads, pasta, pizza, bruschetta, soups, or as a gourmet garnish.
|Kingdom||Plantae – Plants|
|Subkingdom||Tracheobionta – Vascular plants|
|Superdivision||Spermatophyta – Seed plants|
|Division||Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants|
|Class||Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons|
|Family||Amaranthaceae Amaranth family
|Genus||Beta L. – beet
|Species||Beta vulgaris L. – common beet
|Subspecies||Beta vulgaris L. ssp. cicla (L.) W.D.J. Koch – chard
|Common Names||Chard, Swiss chard, Swiss chard pink lipstick, Silverbeet, Seakale beet, Leaf beet, Spinach beet, Crab beet, Perpetual spinach, Mangold|
Microgreen Pests & Diseases
The following are the most common pests and diseases that can affect your microgreens.
White Mold – Sclerotinia sclerotiorum
Sclerotinia sclerotiorum is a necrotrophic fungal disease that causes what’s known as white mold, it can infect over 400 plant species worldwide. It’s also called cottony soft rot, stem rot, watery soft rot, crown rot, and seedling blight.
S. sclerotiorum key properties are its ability to create sclerotia which are its black resting structures, and mycelium which are the white fuzzy spiderweb-like growths you see on stems and growing medium.
Damping-off is an umbrella term that covers fungi and fungi-like organisms in several genera including Rhizoctonia, Botrytis, Phytophthora, and Fusarium, with the soil fungus Pythium being the often culprit.
Damping-off is a soil-borne fungal disease that affects seeds and seedlings typically by rotting of the stems and roots at and below the soil surface.
When a seed germinates the seedling will emerge fine but within 24 hours to a few days will become mushy and water-soaked, collapse at the base of the stem and die.
Aphids – Aphidoidea
Aphids suck! Quite literally. They’re soft-bodied insects that use their piercing-sucking mouths to feed on plants and there are over 4,000 aphid species in the world.
Other common names are greenflies, blackflies, and plant lice. They come in varying colors such as light green, black, white, brown, gray, or yellow.
When aphids feed on plants they secrete a sticky fluid which is called honeydew (no, don’t eat it). This goo they leave behind drips onto plants and can attract other pests such as ants. If the honeydew is left on leaves it can promote black sooty mold.
Swiss Chard Pink Lipstick Nutrition Facts
Swiss chard’s pink lipstick microgreens are incredibly nutritious, packed with all the essential nutrients your body needs. Despite containing only 19 calories, they provide impressive amounts of vitamin A, which supports eye health and vitamin K for strong bones. These microgreens also give you a boost of vitamin C to bolster your immunity, along with vitamin E as a powerful antioxidant.
Additionally, they contain important minerals like iron and magnesium that are vital for your overall well being. The vibrant pink color of these microgreens is due to their high levels of β carotene, which promotes eye health, as well as lutein for general wellness. Including these delicious and beneficial microgreens in your diet is a great way to enhance your nutrient intake.
Nutrition value per 100 g. (Source: USDA National Nutrient database)
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||0.04||mg||3%|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.09||mg||7%|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||0.4||mg||3%|
|Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxin)||0.099||mg||8%|
|Lutein + zeaxanthin||11000||µg||183.33%|
Recommended Seed Providers
I highly recommend True Leaf Market and SeedsNow for all your seed needs. Their wide selection of high-quality seeds and exceptional customer service make them the go-to choice for both novice and experienced gardeners alike.
True Leaf Market
For over 45 years True Leaf Market has been a provider of high-quality seeds both GMO and NON-GMO organic seeds. They also provide phytosanitary certificates if you need to import seeds to a country outside of the US.
SeedsNow is a family-run company, with the aim of assisting individuals, families, and communities in preparing for the future through the promotion of an organic and self-sustainable lifestyle. All their seeds are completely free from any genetic modifications, making them heirlooms, open-pollinated (OP), raw, natural, and untreated. Additionally, they do provide a selection of hybrid varieties on their website which will be clearly labeled as such in the product listings.
Buy Swiss Chard Microgreen Seeds
Swiss chard microgreens have brilliant magenta stems, and beautiful emerald green cotyledons (embryo leaves). They’re crunchy and have a delicate mild beet flavor, perfect in salads, pasta, pizza, bruschetta, soups, or as a gourmet garnish. Add a touch of freshness and a pop of color to your dishes by ordering swiss chard microgreen seeds today.
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Industry leading BootStrap Farmers 1020 microgreen trays! Designed with long lasting durability in mind, these colorful trays are built to withstand years of use and abuse. With a height of 1¼ inches (3.2 cm), these shallow trays make harvests easy, saving you time and increasing your yield. The trays come equipped with 36 drainage holes that effectively remove excess water, promoting a healthy growing environment and preventing mold growth. If you’re serious about growing microgreens and want the best trays available on the market, these trays are it!