A cool-season vegetable that belongs to the Family Chenopodiaceae , Swiss chard is relatively easy to cultivate, and it’s a great addition to any garden. You can grow it as a stand-alone crop or as a companion plant with other vegetables.
In this post, we will discuss the plants that get along well with Swiss chard as well as the worst ones (those to plant far away).
The Best Companion Plants for Swiss Chard
Companion plants are those that help improve other plants’ growth and health.
There are a few companion plants that do a world of good being close to Swiss chard. For example, onions, garlic, and celery help to deter certain pests, while basil improves the flavor of Swiss chard and helps to attract beneficial insects.
On the other hand, there are a few plants that you should avoid planting near Swiss chard. Mint can spread aggressively and overpower Swiss chard, while pole beans can compete for space.
By pairing Swiss chard with the right companions, you can help it grow vigorously and healthy all season long.
Below is a comprehensive list of plants that do well next to Swiss chard.
- Brussels Sprouts
- Bok Choy
What Not to Grow Next to Swiss Chard
It’s important to know the good neighbors, but it’s also important to be aware of which plants you shouldn’t grow next to this vegetable.
While Swiss chard is a hardy vegetable that can thrive in a variety of climates and soil types, there are a few plants that are considered bad companions.
The most notable bad companion for Swiss chard is beets. Both crops share the same pests and diseases. As such, planting them next to each other will only make things worse.
Other plants to avoid include:
- Pole beans
Growing Swiss Chard
Swiss chard is a great vegetable to grow from seed. Just make sure to sow the seeds in well-drained soil and give them an even supply of water.
They’ll also need partial to full sun to grow well, so try planting them in an area that gets adequate hours of sunlight each day. Once they start growing, be sure to weed the area around them so they can thrive freely.
Swiss chard is a great container vegetable. It doesn’t require a lot of space and can easily be grown on a windowsill or balcony.
When planting, it’s important to use a pot that has enough space (at least 12 inches deep) and drainage holes. You’ll also need to make sure the pot is large enough to accommodate the plant’s mature size.
Simply fill the pot with potting mix and bury the plant’s roots up to the base of the leaves. Water generously and place in a sunny spot.
Swiss chard is a light feeder and requires a lot of nitrogen. If you’re planning on planting it near other plants in your garden, make sure to keep that in mind and fertilize accordingly.
There are a few garden pests that like to snack on Swiss chard. Among the most common are cucumber beetles, slugs, and snails.
While there’s not much you can do to prevent these pests from attacking your organic plants, there are a few ways to discourage them. For cucumber beetles, you can coat your plant leaves with a neem oil solution. This will deter them from feasting on your chard.
If you’re dealing with slugs or snails, you can place a physical barrier like crushed eggshells around the base of the plant. This will make it difficult for them to crawl up and feast on your chard leaves.
As with any garden crop, Swiss chard is susceptible to a few plant diseases. Some of them are downy mildew, bacterial soft rot, and damping off .
- Downy mildew is a fungus that causes leaves to have yellow or light green spots and eventually wilt and die.
- Damping off affects seedlings, causing water-soaked lesions that can lead to the death of the plant.
- Bacterial soft rot causes water-soaked spots on the leaves and can eventually destroy your plants.
There are several things you can do to help prevent your Swiss chard from getting these plant diseases. For example, you can rotate your crops each year so the disease doesn’t have a chance to build up in the soil.
How to Harvest
Start reaping when the leaves are young and tender. You can also pick them at any stage of growth, depending on what you’re using them for.
Cut the leaves above the soil line.
If you’ve had a great harvest and don’t plan on eating all your Swiss chard right away, the best way to store it is by bunching the leaves together and tying them with a rubber band.
Next, place the Swiss chard in your fridge’s produce drawer. This will help the leaves stay fresh for up to five days.
If you want to freeze your Swiss chard, blanch it before freezing. Once blanched and cooled, you can transfer it to a freezer bag or container. It will be good for up to six months.
Where to Buy Seeds
Swiss chard is a cool-season vegetable that can be grown all winter. You can get the seeds at most garden centers or online.
Swiss chard is an all-rounder veggie that grows well alongside other garden crops. But while some plants work well with it, others should be avoided. By planting the right companion plants, you can help Swiss chard grow and thrive.