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Growing Silverbeet, also Swiss Chard or Mangold

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

(Best months for growing Silverbeet in USA - Zone 5a regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays 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
    Multi-coloured variety
  • Silverbeet
    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

14 Mar 09, Lesley (United Kingdom - warm/temperate climate)
I was looking for advice on how to cook - some say remove the thick white part before cooking...... but all advice I have is to cook (whether with or without onions and garlic) in MILK. You don't seem to mention that here. I also understand that those who grew up eating this vegetable prefer it with nutmeg. Am just going to prepare -for first time - wish me luck!
03 Jul 09, Marie (United Kingdom - cool/temperate climate)
I am growing silverbeet in pots sitting inside a larger pot with soil in the bottom. It is growing well but some of the leaves get a grey colourd blotch on them. I only ever water from below. Any suggestions? Over the last couple of weeks our temperature has been between 20 and 27°. I never had any problems when I lived in Australia. Maybe I am being too ambitious?
29 Aug 11, Helen Elam (United Kingdom - cool/temperate climate)
the thick white stem of Swiss chard is cooked separately: cut up in sticks of 6 cm long by 1 cm diameter. cooked gently in butter. I have eaten this as a n accompaniment to girolles and riz de veau - the leaves were cooked and pureed to make a wonderful sauce.

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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. Gardenate 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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