Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable high in vitamins and minerals that can withstand higher temps and minor drought more easily than other nutrient rich greens, such as spinach. Chard also has the added bonus of being quite ornamental, making it perfect for companion planting with chard. Companion plants for chard may be vegetable in nature or purely for aesthetic purposes, such as with perennial or annual flowers. So, what does grow well with chard?
Companion Planting with Chard
Utilizing companion plants for chard or other vegetables is a natural way to create diversity in the garden. A garden that is rich in diversity will in turn deter pests and diseases that seek out like species. It also engenders habitats that are safe havens for beneficial creatures. Planting companion plants for chard takes out some of the human involvement, allowing you to create a more organic garden. When choosing chard plant companions, consider that the green gets fairly large at maturity, which can crowd out smaller plants. Choose chard companion plants that will mature after the chard is ready to harvest so they aren’t overshadowed.
What Grows Well with Chard?
Many vegetables and flowers make suitable chard plant companions. Tomatoes, one of the most popular vegetables, do quite well when paired with chard. Also, everything in the cabbage or Brassica family takes to growing with chard quite well, as does anything in the Allium family. Beans are excellent chard companion plants. The Swiss chard will be ready to harvest by the time the beans are getting ready to have a growth spurt and overshadow the chard. In the meantime, the chard shades the tender bean seedlings and helps to retain soil moisture. Radishes, lettuce, and celery also thrive when comingled with Swiss chard.
Plants to Avoid
Just as in life, humans don’t always get along with each other, and so it is botanically in nature. Swiss chard doesn’t get along with everybody. Take herbs, for example. Chard is not a fan of most herbs with the exception of mint. These two make great garden buddies. Chard also shouldn’t be planted near potatoes, corn, cucumbers, or melons. All of these will either compete for soil nutrients or foster harmful pests.
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Amy Grant has been gardening for 30 years and writing for 15. A professional chef and caterer, Amy's area of expertise is culinary gardening.
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