Steps I took to sprout my chard and beets:
1.)Crush the seed coat on both the chard varieties and the orangey-yellow beet from Jung's (I'll look up the cultivar name and post it here).
2.)Soak in warm water for a half hour.
3.)Strain the seed into a piece of paper toweling.
4.)Hold over night in the folded up toweling in a Ziploc bag in a warm place.
5.)Plant them out at about 1/2" depth, a couple inches apart.
Mine germinated in just a couple days. The temps were high 70s to mid-90s, with 50s at night.