I’m in a quandary about Silver Beet, or Chard as it is often called. I love it, I find it really versatile to cook with – I use it both for its own sake and as a substitute for spinach. It’s a really forgiving plant to grow: happy in sun but not adverse to shade. It seems to require little in the way of extra attention beyond fairly regular watering. Despite the odd caterpillar hole it is reasonably pest resistant and if succession planted to get through the tendency to bolt in Spring it can provide harvests all year round in Melbourne. The quandary is not whether to grow it, rather which variety should I grow? If I was to consider the matter on a purely rational basis then I would always grow the green stemmed varieties. I grow both a variety called perpetual spinach and another Italian one the name of which I unfortunately tore off the seed packets a couple of years ago and now it is lost forever. I find the green stemmed ones are the easiest to grow, they cope best with shade, are always productive and avoid the mildew I find the others can succumb to. But then I get seduced by colour of the rainbow varieties. Beautiful aren’t they?