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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 = Plant in the garden.

  • 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
    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

15 May 17, Heather (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I live in the centre of north island and have shifted to a sloping veg garden. All sorts of beans grow but not much else. Silverbeet does no thrive cucumbers tomatoes all a bit sad. We have planted some mustard seeds whic are thriving, with the idea of digging in. My section is very wet during winter. Hope you can help as I love a veg garden
15 May 17, Jack (Australia - temperate climate)
I suggest you increase organic matter in the soil by growing green manure crops or old manure and digging it in. Adding washed sand will also help. Not many plants like to sit in soggy soil so anything you can do to open the soil up and help it drain will help.You could also add a good dressing of garden lime as wet soils are often acidic. Now is a good time to do that. Only use garden lime and give the beds a good covering. We'll look forward to hearing how you go in the coming spring.
12 May 17, Will stubby (Australia - temperate climate)
Can you grow silver beet in rocky ground ?
13 May 17, Jack (Australia - temperate climate)
You didn't say whether the soil was big rocks or gravel but if you provide the nutrients and water you will be able to. An example is hydroponics where the growing medium is often scoria or some other inert material.Build the ground up with as much organic matter as you can, add mulch to help hold water and go for it!
26 Mar 17, may (Australia - temperate climate)
my silverbeet has been thriving but now new leaves are coming up small and very dark leaves (NOT SPOTTED)
21 Feb 17, Sarah Lilac (Australia - temperate climate)
I am trying to grow silver beet but i am having trouble find a suitable fertilizer. Please help!!!!!!!!!
22 Feb 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Rotted manure,pelletiesed manure or blood & bone would be ideal for your silver beet. Being a leaf crop they like lots of nitrogen which they would get from the things I have suggested. natural fertilisers are ideal as they build up the soil and increase soil life, unlike chemical or synthetic fertilisers which destroy soil life. Give nutrients a go, you will be well rewarded!
03 Apr 17, Mike (Australia - temperate climate)
Most manures and B&B have very little N. And I reckon most manures from commercial shops don't have a lot of actual manure in them.
04 Apr 17, Mike (Australia - temperate climate)
How common manures measure up. Manure N-P-K Chicken 1.1 .80 .50 Diary cow .25 .15 .25 Horse 2.4 1.4 .60 Steer .70 .30 .60 Rabbit .70 .30 .40 Sheep .70.30 .90 Sources: Rodale's All-New Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening, An Illustrated Guide to Organic Gardening, by Sunset Publishing, and the Rodale Guide to Composting. Note: Nutrient values of manures vary greatly, depending on the diet and age of the animals, and the nature and quantiy of bedding in the mix. Manures are a soil conditioner really. I mulch my plants left overs and grass clippings and add fert 15 10 13 and some lime.
08 Jan 17, Liz (Australia - temperate climate)
You can let the silverbeet go to seed. The seeds will drop on the ground and you will get self seeded silverbeet. Self seeded silverbeet tastes great.
Showing 1 - 10 of 150 comments

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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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