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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

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

27 Nov 17, Don (Australia - temperate climate)
I have young silver beet in a raised outdoor bed, leaves are approx the size of the top of a cup and they are all going to seed. What is the best way to handle?
29 Nov 17, Tanya (Australia - temperate climate)
I don't think there is anything you can do to stop them going to seed. These thou I find just usually self sow (so just let them go) and more will come up. (I have silverbeet all year round in that bed and I don't replant them)
27 Nov 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
How fertile is the soil. A plant once it has used the fertiliser in the soil will go to seed to reproduce itself. I haven't grown silver beet for 20 odd years although a fellow has some growing in the Men's Shed gardens I look after. He has just started to pick them the last week. These were planted after a crop of lettuce and once the SB were established from very small seedlings I gave them a little hit up with fertiliser. I use a little Tupperware cup of fertiliser (7cm across and 4cm deep) into 9 liters of water - leave for a few hours and give a good stir. I used that 9 L to water 7 SB, 12 climbing beans, 4 Ceylon spinach and 6 rock melon plants. YOU could pick the seed head off and give them a fertilizing - but I think it might be too late.
06 Nov 17, Sally Ong (Australia - tropical climate)
i want to ask can - can silver beet grow in equatorial climate like Malaysia? Please advise. Thank you.
07 Nov 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
You could try planting April May next year.
16 Aug 17, margaret arnold (Australia - temperate climate)
is silver beet ok to eat raw? thank you..
17 Aug 17, John C (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
The smaller leaves are yummie raw in salads, or in a stir-fry. I think they get a bit tough as they get older / bigger. (As I understand it, you don't get the Iron benefits from raw spinach. Needs to be cooked for that.)
17 Aug 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
The young leaves can be used raw in a salad but silverbeet is usually eaten cooked. Puréed or finely chopped silverbeet makes an excellent base for many dishes. Use blanched leaves as a wrap.
15 Aug 17, Dianne (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I live an hour west of Hobart, when is the best time to plant silver beet seedlings? The temperature still gets down to 0 over night.
16 Aug 17, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Sept to March for you. In future go to the Veg and Herb section above and read up about the plant you are interested in. It has all this info there.
Showing 1 - 10 of 162 comments

My mum is from New Zealand and loved silverbeet. Does Swiss Chard or Mangold really taste the same as silverbeet?. Where can I order the seeds for the silverbeet? Thanks

- Sharon

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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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