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Companion Plants for Swiss Chard – 21 Tried-and-True Winners

Companion Plants for Swiss Chard – 21 Tried-and-True Winners

There are many fantastic complementary plants that can thrive in your garden. However, it may be challenging to determine which ones are best to grow alongside swiss chard.

Read on below and explore 21 of the best options for planting alongside swiss chard!

1. Lettuce

Several heads of lettuce growing in a garden.

Lettuce is one of the fastest-growing companion plants and one of the most frequently grown and eaten as well.

It comes in tons of varieties and can even add some aesthetic value to your garden rows.

  • Benefits provided: Provides protection from pests, attracts beneficial insects, provides ground cover, works well as markers
  • Spacing requirements: 4 to 6 inches apart in rows that are 12 inches to 18 inches apart
  • Time until harvest: 30 to 60 days
  • Popular varieties: Butterhead, Crisphead/Iceberg, Celtuce, Batavia

2. Marigolds

A mass of red-and-orange marigolds blooming profusely in a raised concrete bed.

One of the most popular flowers found in gardens around the world as companion plants and otherwise are marigolds.

These red, yellow, and orange beauties are available in dozens of species and are extremely beneficial to plants around them.

  • Benefits provided: Provides protection from pests like beetles and nematodes and also causes some plants to grow faster
  • Spacing requirements: 8 to 12 inches apart
  • Time until harvest: 50 to 100 days
  • Popular varieties: French, African, Aztec, Tagetes Cottage Red, Baileya multiradiata, and Calendula officinalis

3. Peppermint

A healthy peppermint plant viewed from above.

Peppermint may not be the first companion plant you think about adding to your swiss chard, but maybe it should be!

The plant protects others from a wide array or insects, and it smells great too.

  • Benefits provided: Provides protection from some moths, beetles, aphids, and spider mites 
  • Spacing requirements: 18 to 24 inches apart
  • Time until harvest: 90 days
  • Popular varieties: Spearmint, pennyroyal mint, ginger mint, and horsemint

4. Kohlrabi

Several kohlrabi plants growing in a home garden.

Kohlrabi is another popular and beneficial plant that does well with swiss chard.

The plant provides protection from harmful insects as well as attracts helpful ones. It’s also available in a wide variety of colors.

  • Benefits provided: Provides protection from several pests, acts as natural support/trellis, and attracts beneficial insects
  • Spacing requirements: 12 inches apart
  • Time until harvest: 50 to 60 days
  • Popular varieties: White, green, purple, and blue

5. Bush Beans

A close look at several bush bean plants growing outdoors.

Bush beans are one of the best companion plants for swiss chard in gardens/beds that are high or low in nitrogen.

They also provide extra shade from the mid-day sun for leafy greens and shorter plants during the middle of the day.

  • Benefits provided: Fixes nitrogen levels of the soil, provides extra shade
  • Spacing requirements: 1 to 2 inches apart in rows between 30 and 36 inches apart
  • Time until harvest: 40 to 60 days
  • Popular varieties: Masai, Romano, Blue Lake, and heirloom species

6. Peas

Sugar snap peas growing happily in a home garden.

Peas are another plant that does great with swiss chard and other greens. They draw helpful insects like pollinators near and protect from harmful ones.

Peas are also moderately fast-growing plants that don’t take up too much ground space.

  • Benefits provided: Provides some protection from pests and helps with pollination
  • Spacing requirements: 2 to 3 inches apart in rows 18 to 24 inches apart
  • Time until harvest: 60 to 70 days
  • Popular varieties: English, snow, and snap

7. Nasturtiums

Colorful nasturtiums in red, orange, and yellow.

Nasturtiums are available in a ton of different versions and include a bunch of colors. They look amazing in between swiss chard or as markers between rows.

The plants also work as traps for harmful insects and magnets for beneficial ones.

  • Benefits provided: Draws away pests from large plants and attract some varieties of beneficial insects
  • Spacing requirements: 3 inches apart with rows 12 inches apart
  • Time until harvest: 35 to 55 days
  • Popular varieties: Orange Gleam, Orchid Flame, Phoenix, Purple Emperor, Whirlybird Mix

8. Leeks

Six freshly harvested leeks lying in the dirt.

Leeks provide basic pest prevention, don’t take up a lot of room in the garden, and can easily be placed in rows with swiss chard.

Even more, it’s one of the only plants you can plant with your greens both in the early and late growing seasons.

  • Benefits provided: Provides a decent amount of natural insecticide/pest control and doesn’t take up much space
  • Spacing requirements: 4 to 6 inches apart with rows approximately 12 inches apart
  • Time until harvest: 90 to 120 days
  • Popular varieties: Early season and late season

9. Garlic

Rows of young garlic plants in a garden.

Garlic is an excellent companion plant for swiss chard. It keeps the bad bugs away and prevents harmful fungus as well.

The potential downside is that it needs to grow for up to 8 to 9 months.

  • Benefits provided: Provides serious pest control, repelling far more insects than most species do, and it prevents fungus
  • Spacing requirements: 4 to 6 inches apart
  • Time until harvest:  8 to 9 months
  • Popular varieties: Solo, Snow Mountain, Purple Stripe, and Aglio Rosso di Nubia

10. Onions

A row of growing onions in a garden.

Onions also go well with swiss chard, and they might even make it taste a bit better.

They will definitely keep a few bugs away that don’t like the smell, and they make great markers and dividers as well.

  • Benefits provided: Improves the taste of some companion species as well as provides serious pest deterrence
  • Spacing requirements: 2 to 4 inches apart with rows at least 12 to 16 inches apart
  • Time until harvest: 60 to 120 days
  • Popular varieties: White, potato, calcot, yellow, green, spring, and red

11. Shallots 

Several rows of shallots growing in a home garden.

Shallots are another companion plant for swiss chard that help deter pests and provide a bit of ground cover at the same time.

They are also available in several different varieties so you can keep things interesting.

  • Benefits provided: Some pest deterrent and ground coverage
  • Spacing requirements: 6 to 8 inches apart with rows approximately 12 to 18 inches apart
  • Time until harvest: 90 days
  • Popular varieties: Jersey, Gray Griselle, and Banana

12. Chives

Purple blossoms on garden chives.

Chives work a whole lot like garlic and onions as a companion plant to swiss chard and other plants. They attract good bugs, repel the bad ones, improve soil, and come in a ton of tasty varieties.

  • Benefits provided: Provides pest control, attracts beneficial insects, improves the soil nutrition, works well as markers, and provides ground coverage
  • Spacing requirements: 4 to 6 inches apart
  • Time until harvest: When they are 3 to 4 inches long
  • Popular varieties: Common, giant, Siberian, and garlic

13. Cabbage

A mature head of cabbage.

Cabbage comes in several varieties, each with its own aesthetic appeal for the garden. They look great with swiss chard and provide a bit of natural pest control also.

  • Benefits provided: Provides basic pest control and attracts some beneficial insects as well
  • Spacing requirements: 4 to 10 inches apart with rows 12 inches apart
  • Time until harvest: 60 to 180 days
  • Popular varieties: Bok Choy, Choy Sum, Red, Cannonball, and Savoy

14. Brussels Sprouts

Staked brussels sprouts in garden ready for harvest.

Brussels sprouts aren’t the first plant that probably pops into mind as a companion plant for greens like swiss chard, but it’s actually an excellent one.

It provides superior natural pest control in comparison to many of the plants on our list.

  • Benefits provided: Provides protection from mealworms, caterpillars, aphids, and other harmful insects
  • Spacing requirements: 6 inches apart from other plants
  • Time until harvest: 75 to 100 days
  • Popular varieties: Catskill, Red, Churchill, Dagan, Diablo, Green Gems, Gustus, Hestia, and Jade Cross

15. Kale

Several healthy kale plants ready to be harvested.

Kale and swiss chard are similar plants, and they are even better companion plants than many combinations on this list.

Kale improves pH, provides more ground cover, helps swiss chard grow faster, and helps repel harmful insects.

  • Benefits provided: Provides some pest protection, attracts pollinators, encourages faster growth, improves soil pH, and provides ground cover
  • Spacing requirements: 8 to 12 inches apart with rows at least 12 inches apart
  • Time until harvest: 30 to 60 days
  • Popular varieties: Common curly, Tuscan Kale, Ornamental (Savoy), Red Russian (Ragged Jack), Siberian Kale, and Redbor Kale

16. Broccoli

An immature head of broccoli still growing on the plant.

Broccoli is another species like brussels sprouts that’s probably not the first one you think about as a companion plant but is actually a really good one.

They not only attract good insects and repel bad ones, but they also improve general soil health.

  • Benefits provided: Provides some form of protection from pests, attracts beneficial insects, improves soil health, and makes good ground cover as well
  • Spacing requirements: 18 inches apart with rows up to 24 inches apart
  • Time until harvest: 60 to 100 days
  • Popular varieties: Belstar, Calabrese, DiCicco, Green, Purple, Romanesco, and Destiny

17. Turnips

Three freshly harvested turnips.

Turnips aren’t the most popular companion for swiss chard or many other plants, but they can be a very successful one.

They take very little space, repel aphids, and come in a wide variety of species. They also grow rather quickly.

  • Benefits provided: Provides major protection against aphids and other similar pests
  • Spacing requirements: 1 to 2 inches apart with rows 18 to 20 inches apart
  • Time until harvest: 40 to 60 days
  • Popular varieties: Scarlet Queen, Purple, White Lady, Gold Ball, and Baby Bunch

18. Radishes

Radish Plant in Sandy Soil

Radishes are the closest plant on our list to turnips, and they are also unlikely companion plants that actually turn out to be quite helpful.

They encourage surrounding plants to grow faster, keep bad bugs away, attract helpful insects, and improve soil conditions.

  • Benefits provided: Provides pest control, attracts helpful bugs, improves soil health, encourages faster growth, and provides basic ground coverage
  • Spacing requirements: 4 to 6 inches with rows between 12 and 24 inches apart
  • Time until harvest: 3 to 6 weeks
  • Popular varieties: Red, French, Watermelon

19. Collards

Rows of healthy collard plants in the garden.

Collards fall into the same category as kale and swiss chard itself; they are great companion plants for other greens.

They may not repel many bugs, but that makes them excellent trap plants to draw bad bugs away from the swiss chard.

  • Benefits provided: Provides trap plants for pests, reduces the amount of fertilizer/plant food needed by nearby plants, and provides basic ground coverage
  • Spacing requirements: 10 to 15 inches apart with rows between 36 and 48 inches apart
  • Time until harvest: 50 to 70 days
  • Popular varieties: Champion, Ellen Felton Dar, Georgia Southern, Morris Heading, Old Timey Blue, and Vates

20. Cilantro

A full-screen shot of cilantro growing in a garden.

Cilantro is another herb that provides midday shade, improves general soil health, and attracts beneficial insects while warding off the bad ones.

They can also be planted as near or far apart from your swiss chard as you wish.

  • Benefits provided: Provides plenty of pest control, attracts lots of beneficial bugs, provides ground coverage, provides shade, improves soil, and works well as markers
  • Spacing requirements: 2 to 10 inches apart with rows 8 to 15 inches apart
  • Time until harvest: 50 to 75 days
  • Popular varieties: Vietnamese, Terra, Santos, Caribe, and Slo Bolt

21. Celery

A celery plant viewed from above.

The last companion plant on our list of things to consider planting with swiss chard is none other than good ol’ celery.

It helps keep the beetles at bay and takes up very little space. It also provides basic ground cover as needed.

  • Benefits provided: Provides protection from beetles and similar pests and some ground cover
  • Spacing requirements: 8 to 12 inches apart in rows at least 12 inches apart
  • Time until harvest: 75 to 120 days
  • Popular varieties: Green, Leaf, and Pascal

That’s a Wrap!

There you have it – 21 of the very best tried-and-true companion plants to plant with your swiss chard. Each one has its own pros and cons as well as its own aesthetic values for you to consider.

Hopefully our list helps you make the most well-informed decision possible about which species is best for planting alongside of your swiss chard!