How to Grow Silverbeet

Here is a quick reference guide on how to grow silverbeet (or chard). Silverbeet is an annual vegetable which crops for many months.

silverbeet

Position: Prefers coolness to heat, tolerates shade. Well-composted soil. Does not like acid soil.

Sowing season: Spring for Summer harvest, late Summer for Autumn harvest.

Sowing method: Soak seeds for a few hours before sowing 2-3cm deep.

Spacing: After about 3 weeks thin out to 30cm between plants, 50cm between rows.

Watering: Mulch lightly, water regularly, don’t let soil dry out.

Fertilising: Fortnightly.

Growing period: 10-12 weeks.

Size: 45cm height.

Harvesting: Cut leaves from the outside of the plant and leave the inner leaves to continue growing. Regular harvesting encourages growth.

Suitable for: Containers or vegetable beds.

Good companion plants: Lavender, onions, beetroot, parsnip, lovage, marjoram, cherry.

Bad companions: Basil, wormwood.

Hazards: Doesn’t like acidic soil. Don’t let soil dry out. Silverbeet spreads quickly, if you let it go to seed your vegetable garden will be full of silverbeet.

Common pests: Aphids, leaf miners, snails and slugs.

Common diseases: Relatively free of diseases.

Storage: Store in the fridge in a air-tight plastic bag.

Tips: Silverbeet makes a good Winter crop as it likes cool weather. Silverbeet is a good vegetable for coastal gardens as it tolerates salty winds. Don’t wait too long to harvest. Young silverbeet leaves make excellent salad greens, older leaves are more bitter.

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