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 10°C and 30°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 15 - 30 cm 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
  • 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

29 Jul 08, Anna (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Silverbeet tastes amazing: Wash it, Chop it, Fry it up with some onion and garlic, Add bacon, Let it simmer till leaves are soft, Add nutmeg, Add Salt n Pepper, Add two eggs.... Yummmy.
31 Jul 08, Barbara (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Our silverbeet egg salad: first chop and steam it. Drain and place in bowl and while hot mix through 1Tbsp of olive oil and two or three chopped, hard boiled eggs. season with cracked pepper and salt and if liked, a dash of balsamic vinegar. served hot or cold it's yummy! Even vegie hating kids seem to like it.
03 Aug 08, ron (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Could you please help me I have grown fordhook over the years with no problem however just recently It starts off well then goes droopy even flat along the ground not through lack of water.Regards Ron.
18 Aug 08, sam (Australia - temperate climate)
I have a huge supply of sea weed in my river but is it good for silverbeet how should I use it on silverbeet?
19 Aug 08, Chris (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Sam, if possible rinse the salt off the weed (leave it lying in the rain is fine). You can add the sea weed to compost, or half-fill a tub with weed, top up with water, and leave with a lid on for a few months to make liquid manure. Use diluted to a light-brown ("weak tea") as liquid feed for plants. I've used lake weed as mulch.
03 Oct 08, Sam (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
get some silverbeet in a pan welt it get a nice piece of free range chicken brest slice the thick side of the chicken to make a pocket take some garlic butter and ya welted silverbeet and stuff it inside the chicken breast.cook serve with a salad season it with salt and pepper for a nicer taste pour a few dribbles of sweet chili sauce over cooked chicken.
05 Oct 08, Trevor (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Does anybody know of a variety of ways to try and repel earwigs. They eat the new buds as they emerge. I tried sprinkling pepper, and use bowls of beer but not much luck
08 Oct 08, Sam (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
hey trevor try vinegar that usually works or crush some garlic in some hot water then drain it and place it in a spray bottle with water
09 Oct 08, Barbara in Lane Cove (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Trevor, I've heard if you put some crumpled newspaper in a plantpot and put this upside down on a stick next to plants, then the earwigs will gather in this hideout during the day. The trick is to come along in the morning, gently remove the pot and tap it sharply into a bucket which dislodges the earwigs into the bucket. Pete Cundell suggests doing this into a bucket with kerosine&water in it, which kills the earwigs. Have to admit I've never tried this as I don't have a problem with earwigs. Good luck!
14 Oct 08, Emily (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I have just started growing silverbeet and something is eating it - not slugs or snails. I have tried a spray after taking a cutting to the nursery and it is till being eaten. I am at a total loss and would love any ideas. I am tempted to pull it up and start again???? Some of my lettuce, beans and pumpkin look like it is being attacked as well. What am I doing wrong?
Showing 1 - 10 of 187 comments

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