Growing Silverbeet, also Swiss Chard or Mangold

Beta vulgaris var. cicla : Amaranthaceae / the amaranth family

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

(Best months for growing Silverbeet in Australia - sub-tropical regions)

  • S = Plant undercover in seed trays
  • T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings
  • 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.

Your comments and tips

10 Feb 09, Hels (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi, i have planted Silverbeet about 2months ago and they have a disease that is causing the underside of the leaf to go a silvery/brown colour and then drying out and cracking like a potato chip. I have never seen this happen and dont know how to fix it. Does any one have any suggestions? WOuld be much appreciated.
14 Feb 09, Sandy (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi, I've tried planting silverbeet / chard from two different seed packets and only one plant has come up each time. Previously I have found it really easy to grow so I'm feeling a bit baffled. Any advice greatly appreciated. Best Wishes, Sandy
06 Mar 09, Robert (Australia - temperate climate)
As a commercial grower for many years, I never pick Silverbeet too short as the next leaves take far too long to re-grow. Also I find Silverbeet requires less fertiliser than you would expect for a plant this size. If you spray with fungicide (copper) and insecticide after picking, you will have beautiful, healthy leaves ready for picking every week. Always adhere to spray with-holding periods.
12 Mar 09, (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
For the past couple of years I have been unable to grow silverbeet successfully in any part of my garden. It appears to be flourishing, and then develops silvery coloured blotches on the leaves. I have been using sheep manure, plus blood, bone and potash, plus occasional doses of "Thrive" liquid fertiliser.
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!
17 Mar 09, Barb (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Lesley, I like to steam silverbeet then sprinkle a couple of drops of soy sauce and sesame oil over it before serving, Alternatively steam then sprinkle with a little nutmeg. I've seen recipes with milk, but never used milk with silverbeet.
25 Mar 09, Ken (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
To Ron, (3 Aug 08), your Silver beet sounds just like a problem I had with mine. I contacted Peter Cundall and his advice was to put BORON in the ground. Its a trace element and essential for the good health of all Beet plants. I bought a tub of "Borax" at Coles, its 17% Boron, lightly sprinkled it about where I was going to plant my Silver Beet and Beetroot, and bingo, best crops I've had for years. Go to and put in "Boron Deficiency" and you will get a very interesting article.
25 Mar 09, Ken, Blue Mountains, NSW. (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
To Emily, 14 Oct 08, it will be birds picking at the lovely green leaves. It looks a bit unsightly but they will probably get over it and leave the plants alone. If it persists, you could try making a cover out of some chicken netting and covering your plants. Get a piece of chicken netting about 2 metres long, double it over, lengthways and tie the edges, then 'balloon' it out so that it sits over the plants, and so protecting the plants from the birds.
09 Apr 09, Meg (Australia - temperate climate)
I have small green caterpillars destroying my silverbeet and also having a go at the beetroot leaves. I can't seem to get on top of them even though I've sprayed a couple of times. Does anyone have any suggestions? Especially anything organic or natural, since I'm partly growing veges to minimise the pesticides on our food.
17 Apr 09, Judy (Australia - temperate climate)
I've grown silverbeet quite a lot in the past, but in my new location on the Central Coast of NSW, I'm finding that it has a disease which looks like little brown dots/spots all over the leaf. Anyone know what this is please - could it be a fungus type problem? Thanks, help would be appreciated. I'm an organic grower, so any remedies need to be non-toxic. Thanks. Judy
Showing 31 - 40 of 222 comments

Just my view but I don't mix plantings of things together. As far as I'm concerned a rose garden is a rose garden. A vegie garden is for vegies. They require slightly different fertiliser. If mixing plantings then more fertilisering and watering is required especially in hot summer.

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