QUESTION: What can I plant next to Swiss chard? I want try growing Swiss chard this year in my garden. Does it matter what I plant near it? -Ted L.
ANSWER: Using companion planting, you can partner Swiss chard up with a variety of other plants in your garden to take advantage of symbiotic relationships, deter bugs from your crops, prevent insects, and get other benefits from the proximity of your chard plants to other types of plants. We’ve listed some potential companion plants below for you to consider.
- Beans: The timing is part of what makes beans good neighbors for Swiss chard. Once your chard plants are ready for harvesting, the bean plants will be poised to overtake them in height. Until then, the chard plants will provide the tender young bean seedlings with some much-appreciated shade while also helping the soil to keep moisture available for both crops.
- Bok choy
- Peppermint: If you choose mint as a companion plant for your Swiss chard, be aware that mint plants spread so prolifically they are considered invasive by most gardeners. You may need to take precautions to stop their spread, such as burying containers in the ground and planting them inside those, or simply using the containers as usual above the surface of the soil.
- Tomatoes: Similarly to partnering your Swiss chard up with beans, the timing is what makes tomatoes such good neighbors for this leafy green. By the time your chard is ready to be picked, the tomatoes will just be beginning to grow taller than the Swiss chard. Until that time, the tomato seedlings will benefit from the shade cast by the Swiss chard plants as well as the retained moisture in the soil thanks to that shade.