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Growing Silverbeet, also Swiss Chard or Mangold

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
P P P           P P P P

(Best months for growing Silverbeet in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

P = Sow seed

  • Easy to grow. Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 50°F and 86°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 6 - 12 inches apart
  • Harvest in 7-12 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Beans, brassica sp. (cabbage, cauliflower, etc), tomato, allium sp. (onion, garlic, chives), lavender, parsnip
  • Avoid growing close to: Corn, melon, cucurbit (cucumbers, squash, melons, gourds), most herbs, potato.
  • Multi-coloured variety
  • Silverbeet

Edible dark green glossy leaves with wide white or cream stalks produced over a long period. Some varieties have red, yellow or orange stalks. They are all edible. Both leaves and stalks are eaten. This is a cut and come again plant, providing leaves for some months before going to flower. Can re-sprout from around the base if cut off when it starts to flower.

Reasonably frost and heat tolerant. Grows well in most soils. For prolific growth apply compost, or well-rotted manure. Resistant to most plant diseases. The multi-coloured ones look good in a flower border.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Silverbeet

Wash thoroughly and inspect the back of the leaves for insects.
Chop and put in a saucepan with very little water ( or just what is on the leaves)
Cover and cook over a low to medium heat until the leaves collapse.
A small amount of nutmeg enhances the flavour.

Your comments and tips

04 Dec 19, Don Leslie (Australia - temperate climate)
My silverbeet has gone to seed very young they are only six weeks old
07 Dec 19, anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
A plants purpose is to grow and set seed so that it can reproduce it's self in the future. If there is a lack of nutrient (fertiliser) and or water then it won't grow much and will go to seed. A local farmer has just redesigned his farm (moved soil and laser levelled etc). He planted a cover crop to put some fibre back into the soil. He is watering the hell out of it but it just won't grow much - reason - there is no nutrient in the soil.
05 Dec 19, Anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Probably one or both of two reasons. They lacked fertiliser/watering or the season, coming into hot summer weather. More a cool weather crop I think.
22 Nov 19, EILEEN ROSE (Australia - temperate climate)
Our silverbeet has white coating on leaves which is very tedious to wash off. What is it and is it harmful to ingest?
25 Nov 19, anon (Australia - temperate climate)
Sounds like powdery mildew, research it on the internet.
04 Jun 19, Karan (South Africa - Dry summer sub-tropical climate)
I know it's not present topic,but can you help me .i have a pomergranite tree , bears flowers ,double but falls of. It's three years old and I have planted in a big pot,please can you help. Karan (Gardenate is for vegetables but perhaps someone could help?)
11 Dec 19, Alistair Dimmick (Australia - temperate climate)
A lot of fruit trees take 3 to 5 years to start bearing fruit. Some may take a few years after its first fruiting for it to be tasty. Persist with it and it should be ok.
01 Apr 19, Pat S (Australia - temperate climate)
I planted my silverbeet a couple of months ago,I started picking it the leaves and stalks were great but now the leaves are turning brown the centre of the plant is also brown and the leaves are 'narrowing'. What disease have I got and can I replant in the same spot if so what should I use to clean the soil to prevent a recurrence. Many thanks
23 Jan 19, Michael (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi All, Just wondering, i have had silverbeet growing in a raised garden bed for about 5 months, but it doesn't seem to grow taller than 5 inches and a few small leaves at a time. Hardly enough to eat. It gets sun most of the day, watered daily and seasol every few weeks. Any advice on how to make it grow better would be great. Thanks Michael
24 Jan 19, Mike (Australia - temperate climate)
Seasol has virtually no NPK in it. Sounds like your soil is very poor. My tip - reap it out. Start preparing your garden bed for planting in March. Put compost manure even grass clippings in the soil now. Water it and turn it over each week. If it doesn't rain keep watering it 1-2 times a week. When you have good crumble soil you can plant. Or go and buy some fertiliser. I would plant March to about June. Grow it in the winter.
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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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