GrowIn' Spinach

Family name: Beetroot family (Chenopodiaceae)
spinach
Vegetables that belong to this family are beetroot, Swiss chard and spinach. All these can be grown in the same way. Spinach is a good nutritious food, but mustn’t be eaten in large quantities, since large amounts of it will cause oxalic acid poisoning (so much for Popeye the sailor man).

Varieties of spinach

There are three types of spinach: ordinary spinach, perpetual spinach and New Zealand spinach. Perpetual spinach comes back every year, which makes it easier to grow then normal spinach. Alas, it’s not as tasty as the ordinary variety. New Zealand spinach is more suited in hotter climates, as it doesn’t go to seed as fast as ordinary Spinach, yet can be grown in cooler climates as well. New Zealand spinach also doesn’t have the oxalic acid content the ordinary spinach has.

Soil, sowing and planting

Spinach prefers a neutral soil (pH 6,5). It also prefers additions of compost. Mulching is of benefit to prevent soil evaporation in order to help plants not to go to seed too early. Plants tend to go to seed in droughts, keeping the moist in the soil will help to prevent this.

Spinach can be sown into modules and planted out when they are 5 cm tall, spacing them 20 cm apart from each other in their permanent beds. Spinach can be sown all year round. Don’t forget to first harden them off before placing them outside. When they first go out in spring temperatures can still be rather low.

Harvest

Spinach can be harvested all year around by picking the leaves singly from the stem of different spinach plants, starting at the base of the stem.

Pests and diseases

Spinach is as good as disease free. The only problem that could arise is mould in warm, damp weather. If this happens, which it does only rarely, it is best to discard the crop and plant new ones.

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One Comment

  1. Posted April 2, 2014 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    thanks, I love perennial saldas!! perpetual spinach is pretty easy to find I got mine at Seeds of Victoria years ago when it was hard to find but I noticed so many more seed places are selling it now Mckenzie is a big one for example saw it on the seed rack at the local hardware store! I have yet to find 9 star broccoli in Canada. West Coast Seeds carries some sprouting broccolis but none are perennial, Salt Spring Seeds also has a fantastic selection of hard to find perennial veggies and the owner is a really nice guy perhaps he would know a source? If you find a source please let me know, 9 star is on my long term list of search items!

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