Green leafy veggies are frequently chosen by people who want to cultivate their own vegetable garden in their backyard. The Swiss Chard is one such leafy green that comes to mind first when planning for a vegetable garden.
Swiss Chard, often known as Chard, is a beet known for its dark green foliage, multicolored stems, and bitter flavor. Also, because it resembles spinach, it is sometimes known as spinach beet.
Swiss Chard is a popular vegetable garden plant because of its effortless nature. This green leafy prefers to keep to itself and produce bright, thick, erect stalks without becoming overbearing.
While growing Swiss Chard in your backyard, it is often recommended to grow the right companion plants to create a diverse ambiance in your garden. This will give your garden a nicer appearance, along with helping in keeping pests and illnesses away from your plants.
Keeping this in mind, we’ll talk about the companion plants you can cultivate with Swiss Chard in this post. We’ll also go over some plants you should avoid growing alongside your Chard.
What are Companion Plants?
If you’re a novice to gardening, you might not be familiar with the terms ‘companion planting’ or ‘companion plants.’ So, before we get started on the finest companion plants for Swiss Chard, let’s define companion plants.
In their most basic form, companion plants are plants that can be cultivated alongside other plants. Still perplexed? Let’s simplify everything. Growing many plants together in a garden to promote growth and productivity is known as companion planting. There are several benefits of companion planting, like deterring pests, attracting pollinators, enhancing the soil condition, etc. For instance, cultivating lavender as a companion plant would help you repel aphids if you have rose plants in your garden.
How Does Companion Planting Help?
Companion planting is beneficial for a variety of reasons. And, to get the most out of it, you should always grow plants that are amicable with one another simultaneously. Some of the most important reasons to include companion planting in your landscape are listed below.
- Attract Beneficial Insects/ Pollinators
Consider cultivating plants that attract pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and other pollinators to your garden. For example, pollinators are frequently attracted to flowering plants such as nasturtium and rosemary. On the other hand, Basils can attract swarms of bees if left to flower.
- Repelling Pests and Diseases
Companion planting can also help keep pests and diseases out of your garden. For example, if you want to grow a vegetable garden, you should be aware of pests such as cucumber beetles, Mexican bean beetles, and carrot flies. As a result, you can cultivate companion plants like catnip, rue, marigold, lavender, and others, depending on the vegetable plant(s) you’re growing, to keep your garden pest-free.
- Improve Soil Nutrition
Companion planting can also help to improve soil nutrition. For example, your garden soil may be devoid of nutrients after harvesting crops. As a result, companion plants such as beans can help restore soil nutrition by adding nitrogen.
- Offer Shade
Certain companion plants provide natural protection for smaller plants that need complete or partial shade to thrive. As a result, taller companion plants like zucchini and asparagus could prove beneficial for smaller or shorter crops.
- Provide Ground Cover
Certain companion plants create natural land covers during the hot summer months that keep the soil cool. Such plants (like oregano) are extremely beneficial in maintaining the health of plants that require a cool soil temperature to thrive.
Why Choose to Plant Swiss Chard Companion Plants?
Companion plants are like cool friends who keep the garden safe and flourishing. That being said, did you know that plants can communicate with one another? They don’t communicate verbally like other animals, or we do but instead use (plant) signals, release gases, and so on. As a result, pairing your Swiss Chard with the right companion plants can help you grow a more robust garden that thrives.
In the case of Swiss Chard, companion plants would help you get better yields. Additionally, they can attract pollinators, relax the soil, enrich it with nutrients, and maintain the moisture level. As a result, the flavor of your Swiss Chard will get enhanced further.
Top 10 Plants to Grow with Swiss Chard
So, are you ready to look at the list of plants that go well with Swiss Chard? It’s right here for you. One word of caution, though: chard leaves can become quite large as they grow, crowding out petite plants. As a result, selecting companion plants that complement each other is critical to prevent your garden from becoming overcrowded.
Chards are known to grow well with plants from the brassica family. Cabbage, for example, is frequently recommended as a good companion plant for Swiss chards. Kale, turnips, broccoli, radish, and kohlrabi are some other brassica species to consider.
Because cabbage plants have a shallow root system, planting them could benefit chards. In other words, your Swiss Chard will not compete with cabbage for space because its roots are much deeper than the cabbages. One good strategy of companion planting is to team plants with reciprocal or harmonizing root depths.
Legumes are best known for their nitrogen-fixing ability in the soil. As a result, planting leguminous plants such as beans and peas as Swiss chard companion plants can help it thrive. On the other hand, pole beans should not be paired with chards. This prohibition is because when pole beans are trellised, they can reach a towering height, shading out your chards and preventing them from getting the much-needed sun exposure.
The best choice for chards as a nitrogen-fixing companion is bush beans, such as Cherokee Wax.
Alliums serve a dual purpose as Swiss chard companion plants. First, alliums can repel insects by emitting a strong odor. These plants serve as camouflage in this situation. Second, they act as nurturers by attracting beneficial insects and pollinators, such as bees, when they bloom. Alliums are also simple to grow and require little extra effort. Hence, they could be your great choice!
4. Annual Flowers
When it comes to attracting pollinators to your garden, pairing Swiss Chard with annual flowering plants can help. Planting colorful annual flowers alongside your chards can also help to brighten up your garden. The third advantage of annual flowers is that they keep pests at bay.
To keep your plants free of issues like root-knot nematodes and aphids, choose flowering plants like marigold and nasturtium. On the other hand, plant sweet alyssum to attract pollinators like hoverflies.
Celery is another popular Swiss chard companion plant. The main reason for combining celery and chards is that the former does not obstruct the latter’s growth. If you’re growing Swiss Chard as a fall crop, go for celery, as the autumn months will make both these plants taste better.
Herbs are wonderful in and of themselves. However, not all herbs are suitable as companion plants. As a result, be cautious about which herb(s) you plan to serve with chards. According to experts, Swiss chards with lavender, lovage, and mint could be particularly beneficial.
Lavender would enhance the flavor of Swiss Chard, while mint (particularly peppermint) would attract beneficial insects and keep flea beetles at bay while also providing cooling properties. On the other hand, planting chives will keep pests and bad insects at bay.
In our burgers and sandwiches, we all love lettuce. The crunch provided by these leafy greens is out of this world! That said, lettuce is also an excellent companion plant for Swiss chards. The shallow roots that won’t compete for space are one of the main reasons to plant them with chards. In other words, the root systems of lettuce and Chard are complementary and grow well together.
Another advantage of lettuce as a garden companion is that it can act as a natural mulch, concealing the soil and preventing weed or pest growth. They also help keep the soil covered, keeping it cool in the harsh summer months.
Also Read: How to Harvest Buttercrunch Lettuce? (A Complete Harvesting Guide)
Garlic plants in the garden would keep pests at bay!
Garlic in the garden would keep pests at bay! Although we, humans, enjoy the aroma of freshly tossed burnt garlic, insects dislike its pungent smell. Garlic’s antifungal properties can also protect chards from aphids and other insects. As a result, it’s a low-maintenance allium that you can grow alongside your Swiss chards as a nurturer and camouflage.
Onions have anti-insect properties. Onion roots also help to loosen up the soil by breaking it. Swiss chard roots can thus develop and spread vertically and horizontally more easily.
Because of the timing of their growth and maturity, tomatoes and Swiss chards are a good match.
Tomatoes won’t compete with Swiss chards because they’ll only be getting started growing tall by the time you harvest your chards. Until then, you can grow your tomatoes under the shade of the chards, which will provide a cool environment and soil for them.
Companion Plants You Must AVOID to Grow with Swiss Chard
The plants listed above are excellent companions to Swiss chards. However, if you have chards in your garden, you must avoid certain plants at all costs. The following is a list of bad garden buddies for Swiss Chard plants.
The height of sunflowers is the main reason why they should not be combined with Swiss chards. Sunflowers grow taller and attract more sunlight, causing chards to become parched.
2. Pole Beans
When trellised, pole beans grow tall, and thus, it can create an unwelcome canopy of shade, preventing Swiss chards from getting the much-needed sun exposure.
You can be sure that if you plant potatoes alongside Swiss chards, the former will compete for soil nutrients. As a result, chards would be unable to obtain the necessary nutrition for growth and survival.
4. Plants from Gourd Family
When growing Swiss chards, plants in the gourd family, such as melons, squash, and cucumber, should be avoided. This is because these plants will compete for soil nutrients and may attract pests detrimental to Swiss Chard. Your chards may also be strangled by these plants.
5. Plants from Goosefoot Genus
The Goosefoot genus includes Swiss chards and planting more plants from the same genus may attract the same pests in greater numbers. As a result, avoid mixing chards with spinach, beets, quinoa, and other similar plants.
Whether you have to add a decorative touch to your garden, enrich the soil, repel pests, attract pollinators, or maintain a good soil cover, you can now choose from the list of the top 10 companion plants for Swiss Chard. These plants are great for chards and can add a lot of variety to your garden.
This is an inexhaustive list, so please let us know if you know of any other companion plants for Swiss chards in your mind. Also, in the comments, tell us about your favorite companion plants(s) for this lush green vegetable.
Before we wrap up, here is a table for your quick reference on the good and bad companions for Swiss Chards.
|Good Companion||Bad Companion|
|Legumes||Gourd family plants- melons, squash, cucumbers, etc.|
|Annual flowers||Goosefoot genus plants, like spinach, beet, quinoa, etc.|
|Herbs- mint, peppermint, chives, thymes, etc|
You May Also Read….
- 11 Best Companion Plants For Collard Greens (+ The Worst You Should not Grow)
- Swiss Chard Companion Plants: What to Grow With Swiss Chard?
- Pumpkin Companion Plants: What to Grow with Pumpkin?
- Cabbage Companion Plants: What to Grow with Cabbage?
- Companion Planting: What Herbs Can Be Planted Together?
- Spinach Companion Plants: What to Grow with Spinach?
- Broccoli Companion Plants: What to Grow with Broccoli?
- Sunflower Companion Plants: What to Grow with Sunflower?
- Rose Companion Plants: What to Grow with Roses?