Growing chard is simple and with a few tips and tricks a rich harvest is guaranteed. Read on to find out more about chard and the best companion plants.
Chard (Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris) is a popular, healthy vegetable that many people enjoy growing in their gardens. We will show you which plants are good companions and with which plants chard does not grow well.
Good companion plants for Swiss chard
Chard is a great vegetable to be grown together with other plants as a mixed crop. This reduces disease and pest pressure and results in a diverse combination of species. However, not all plants are suitable to be grown alongside chard.
Since chard requires a large amount of nutrients and water, it is undemanding crops such as legumes that are suitable. Cabbage is an exception, providing the soil is nutrient-rich, for example through added compost. Rotate weak, medium, and strong-rotation crops annually, as well as adding green manure. The following plants are good companion plants for chard:
- Globe artichoke (Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus)
- Onions (Allium cepa)
- Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
- Butterhead lettuce (Lactuca sativa var. capitata)
- Flame nasturtium (Tropaeolum)
- Garden pea (Pisum sativum)
- Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris)
- Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica)
- Garlic (Allium sativum)
- Cabbage (Brassica)
- Kohlrabi (Brassica oleracea var. gongylodes)
- Carrots (Daucus carota subsp. sativus)
- Radish (Raphanus sativus var. sativus)
- Black radish (Raphanus sativus var. niger)
- Marigolds (Tagetes)
- Calendulas (Calendula officinalis)
Tip: To make your garden even more diverse, you can try different varieties of chard.
Unsuitable companion plants for Swiss chard
If possible, do not grow chard together with other medium- or high-yielding plants to avoid creating competition. Also, some plants may be susceptible to diseases, which is why we would not recommend growing the following plants together with chard:
- Spinach (Spinacia oleracea)
- Beetroot (Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris)
- Rocket (Eruca sativa)
- Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum)
- Cucumbers (Cucumis sativus)
- Black salsify (Scorzonera hispanica)
To create a balanced crop rotation, include not only the current crop year but also the preceding and following crops into your planning. Avoid growing closely related crops together – such as chard with spinach and beetroot. The above-mentioned unsuitable companion plants for chard need to be avoided as pre- or post-crops.
- Unsuitable plants: since chard is not self-tolerant, take a growing break of at least three to five years before planting chard again in the same location. For closely related plants such as beetroot and spinach, we recommend a similar growing break.
- Suitable plants for pre-planting: examples are lamb’s lettuce (Valerianella locusta) and winter cress (Barbarea vulgaris). Winter purslane (Claytonia perfoliata) can be used for pre-planting if the chard is not planted until mid-April.
- Suitable plants for the following crop: in the following year, legumes (Fabaceae) such as beans and broad beans (Vicia faba) are an excellent choice. Leeks (Allium porrum), celery (Apium graveolens), sweet corn (Zea mays) and potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) are also suitable as follow-on crops.
Tip: To provide chard with a sufficient supply of nutrients, we recommend fertilising with our Plantura All Purpose Plant Food. The mainly organic slow-release fertiliser provides the plant with all the necessary nutrients over a prolonged period. You can find many more tips on growing chard here.
- Perfect for a variety of plants in the garden & on the balcony
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