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Growing Silverbeet, also Swiss Chard or Mangold

(Beta vulgaris var. cicla)

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(Best months for planting Silverbeet in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

  • Easy to grow.
  • Harvest in 50-85 days
  • 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.
  • Space plants: 30 - 40 cm

Edible dark green glossy leaves with wide white or cream stalks produced over a long period. 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.

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

03 Sep 10 Leeanne (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi there I have just planted my silverbeet last month I have been getting green spinach coloured leaves with white stalks but now I notice they are starting to flower already and growing very tall. So I planted new ones but they are also flowering and growing thin and tall. what do I do.How do I avoid this happening or am I doing something wrong? Please help thank you
16 Nov 10 kezzy (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi Leeanne, I'm a newish gardener but it sounds like you're silverbeet plants have just gone to seed. The Spring in the earth does it and mine are going crazy at the moment. You can either cut the flowering stems right out and they'll grow back or take the whole plant out and start again. I have grown some from seed and have them still in plant containers and they haven't gone to seed yet, so I will wait until a bit later to put them in so they don't bolt. If you have rabbits or guinea pigs, they love the seed tops or you can leave them for the birds.
07 Mar 11 Roo (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
My silverbeet is two seasons old now and is bolting. Does anyone know how many seasons can I keep the same plants for? Thank you :)
25 May 11 CarolAnn (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Can't see where it says full sun is OK, though I think it is?? Do I have to wait until Sept to plant a few?
06 Jul 11 Jo (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Well silverbeet at my house hardly grows! I have cabbage carrots lettuce all doing fine yet the silverbeet plants never take off. People who owned house before us had a wonderful supply of Silverbeet... what am I doing wrong
22 Sep 11 Nikita (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
I have planted Silver Beet straight outside and I'm woundering how long it normally takes for them to appear ?? Thanks
10 Jan 12 Trudy (New Zealand - temperate climate)
With the heat and all the rain in Auckland at the moment my silverbeet has a light powdering on it. Can it still be washed and eaten or am I best to pull it out.
17 Apr 12 Jannpoet (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Something is eating my silverbeet! I have to silverbeet plants in my garden. One is really dark green and luscious and the other is stunted with short leaves and the leaves are being badly eaten. My broccoli is also badly effected they now have see through leaves. Today I gave them both a good covering with deris dust not sure if this will cure the problem any ideas what it could be?
23 Apr 12 Poppy (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Birds love silverbeet, they had a great go at mine.I criss-crossed string over them with peg on shopping bags or parts there of, works really well as deterrent all over the garden.
26 Apr 13 (New Zealand - temperate climate)
why do my new silverbeat plants hv rust on them also what is best to feed plants while growing so they are luchious

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See planting calendar for these climate zones

New Zealand - cool/mountain,   New Zealand - sub-tropical,   New Zealand - temperate  

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