What Not to Plant With Swiss Chard – Avoid These Poor Companions

Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable that is high in minerals and vitamins. It can handle higher temperatures and light drought better than other nutrient-dense greens like spinach. Chard also has the added bonus of being quite ornamental, making it perfect for companion planting with chard. Some plants that grow well with chard are edible, while others are just for looks, like perennial or annual flowers. So, what does grow well with chard?.

Swiss chard is a cold hardy leafy green that can be grown in spring fall and even winter gardens. With its colorful stems and healthy leaves it makes a great addition to any veggie plot. However, when planting chard, be mindful of good companion plants as well as ones that don’t pair well. There are a few crops you’ll want to avoid interplanting with chard.

Benefits of Companion Planting

Companion planting is the practice of strategically planting different crops together so they can benefit each other. Positive plant pairings can:

  • Deter insect pests that target single crops
  • Repel or confuse diseases
  • Enhance flavor
  • Provide shade or support
  • Improve soil nutrients

Combining the right plants creates a healthier garden ecosystem,

Good Companions for Chard

Many vegetables, herbs and flowers make excellent companions for chard. Some great options include

  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Onions
  • Lettuce
  • Peas
  • Beans
  • Celery
  • Radishes
  • Garlic
  • Mint
  • Nasturtiums
  • Marigolds

These plants help enhance chard’s growth and flavor or deter pests.

Crops to Avoid Planting With Chard

However, some plants are poor companions for chard and should not be planted in close proximity. Plants to avoid include:


Do not plant chard near spinach. Both are in the Amaranthaceae family and are susceptible to many of the same diseases like leaf spot, mildew and mosaic viruses. Planting together allows these problems to spread rapidly between both crops.


While beet roots make good companions for chard, avoid planting chard near beet greens. They are too closely related and may end up harboring shared pests.


Potatoes and chard do not make good garden mates. Chard belongs to the Goosefoot family while potatoes fall under Nightshade. These two plant families often do not thrive when interplanted.


Tall corn can shade out lower-growing chard, reducing yields. Corn may also promote heavy rust disease which can spread to chard. Keep these two crops separate.


Cucumbers and chard grown together often experience more problems with mildew. The damp conditions cucumbers require also foster chard diseases.


Melons tend to stunt the growth of chard and other brassicas when planted in close proximity. Rotational planting is better.

Herbs (except mint)

Most culinary herbs, like dill, parsley, sage, etc. inhibit the growth of chard through allelopathic compounds. Mint is the one herb that makes a good chard companion.

How to Plant Chard

Follow these guidelines for planting chard:

  • Prepare garden beds with compost and fertilizer a few weeks before planting. Chard prefers nutrient-rich soil.

  • Sow seeds 1⁄2 inch deep in early spring once soil reaches 40°F. You can also start seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before last frost.

  • Space seeds or transplants 8-12 inches apart in rows at least 1 foot apart.

  • Interplant with companion crops like lettuce, onions or carrots.

  • Avoid planting next to poor companion plants like spinach, corn or cucumbers.

  • Keep soil consistently moist while seeds germinate and plants establish.

  • Begin harvesting outer chard leaves in as little as 30 days.

Companion Planting Tips

Here are some useful companion planting tips:

  • Use taller crops to shade low-growing greens like lettuce and chard.

  • Interplant quick-maturing radishes and spinach with slower chard.

  • Trap crop with onions, nasturtiums or mint to lure pests away from chard.

  • Plant marigolds densely around garden edges to deter pests.

  • Include colorful flowers to attract beneficial pollinators and predatory insects.

  • Rotate plant families each season to prevent disease buildup in soil.

Using these companion planting strategies results in a vibrant, productive garden that minimizes pests.

Benefits of Adding Chard to the Garden

Here’s a quick summary of why chard deserves a spot in your garden:

  • Thrives in cool weather with frost tolerance

  • Provides early season harvests

  • Beautiful red, pink, orange, yellow or white stems

  • Leaf colors range from bright to dark green

  • High in vitamins A, K, C, E, B6 and minerals

  • Versatile in salads, sautés, baked goods, etc.

  • Ornamental quality from colorful stems

  • Tolerates heat and minor droughts

With proper companions, chard grows vigorously and adds health and visual appeal. Avoid poor pairings and your chard will flourish!

Companion Planting with Chard

Utilizing companion plants for chard or other vegetables is a natural way to create diversity in the garden. Pests and diseases that look for similar species will be scared away by a garden with lots of different plants. It also engenders habitats that are safe havens for beneficial creatures. Adding companion plants to chard reduces the amount of work you have to do, making your garden more natural. When choosing plants to grow with chard, keep in mind that the green can get pretty big when it’s fully grown, which can make room for 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. Chard grows well with plants from the Brassica or cabbage family, as well as with plants from the Allium family. Beans are excellent chard companion plants. The Swiss chard will be ready to pick when the beans are about to grow quickly and make the chard look small. 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.

People don’t always get along with each other in real life, and plants don’t always get along either. 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.



What grows well with Swiss 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.

Can you plant spinach and chard together?

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.

Can Swiss chard tolerate full sun?

Chard does best in full sun, although it tolerates partial shade and likes fertile, well-worked soil with good drainage and high organic content. Plant the seeds an inch deep and 4-6″ apart. Thin to about a foot apart when the plants are easy to handle.

What plants should not be planted near Swiss chard?

For example, onions, garlic, and celery help to deter certain pests, while basil improves the flavor of Swiss chard and helps to attract beneficial insects. On the other hand, there are a few plants that you should avoid planting near Swiss chard. Mint can spread aggressively and overpower Swiss chard, while pole beans can compete for space.

Can you plant Swiss chard with companion plants?

Companion planting for Swiss chard is an enjoyable and rewarding activity and I can’t encourage you to try it out! Chard is a nutrient-rich leafy green that is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. When grown with companion plants, chard can benefit from its pest-repelling properties and its ability to improve soil health.

Is Swiss chard a bad companion?

While Swiss chard is a hardy vegetable that can thrive in a variety of climates and soil types, there are a few plants that are considered bad companions. The most notable bad companion for Swiss chard is beets. Both crops share the same pests and diseases. As such, planting them next to each other will only make things worse.

What plants go well with Swiss chard?

Marigolds are a versatile companion plant that also does well with Swiss Chard. These not only help attract beneficial insects and pollinators, but they also help keep away nematodes which can be harmful to some crops. Mint benefits Swiss chard by repelling harmful insects, like flea beetles, and attracting pollinators.

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