How to Grow Spinach

How to Grow Spinach

How to Grow Spinach True spinach, as opposed to New Zealand Spinach and Spinach Beet is a quick-growing summer vegetable rich in vitamins and iron. The cartoon character Popeye is probably its greatest devotee! Not the easiest crop to grow because of its liability to bolt at the slightest provocation.

Soil requirements

A deep, rich soil well supplied with organic matter and nitrogen is needed to ensure that the crop grows quickly. On poor soil, the plants are weak and will bolt prematurely, It is a useful quick-growing vegetable for intercropping.

Possible yield

About 8oz (225g) per plant.

Time from Sowing to harvest

6-10 weeks.

Varieties

‘Bloomsdale’ and ‘Matador’.

Sowing

Sow thinly 1 in (2.5cm) deep every 2-3 weeks from March to July to give a continuous supply. If the weather is slow to warm up, delay the early sowings as they will usually bolt.

Transplanting

Never transplant.

Cultivations

When the seedlings are large enough to handle, thin them to 3in (7.5cm) apart and later, when they touch, to 6in (15cm). Of the plants thinned later, the removed plants can be used. Thinning is an important deterrent to bolting. Be generous with water during dry spells to encourage quick and even growth.

Pests and diseases

Aphids may be troublesome but little else is.

Harvesting

Once the outer leaves are large enough, pick them regularly and before they get tough. This will lead to the constant production of new leaves.

 

How to Grow New Zealand Spinach

Unrelated to true spinach, New Zealand (or prickly) spinach is a very hardy winter vegetable which has the added benefit of being largely drought resistant. It forms a creeping plant with fleshy, arrow-shaped leaves. It doesn’t bolt.

Soil requirements

As for true spinach. Possible yield Up to 2 lb (0.9kg) per plant.

Time from Sowing to harvest

Minimum of seven weeks.

Varieties

‘New Zealand’.

Sowing

Sow from mid-May until mid-September half an inch deep, but instead of sowing in rows, sow three or four seeds in a clump with 2ft (60cm) between clumps.

Transplanting

Don’t transplant.

Cultivations

When the seedlings are large enough to handle, thin them out to leave just the strongest plant in each station.

Nip out the tips of the shoots when the plants are about 1 ft (30cm) across to encourage branching and, hence, more leaves. In wet autumns, it helps to either cloche the plants or straw the ground beneath them to avoid mud splash.

Pests and diseases

Nothing specific, but keep your eyes open for greenfly and caterpillars.

Harvesting

Both the leaves and soft ends of the stems are edible, so constant picking encourages more to grow.

 

 

16. March 2011 by admin
Categories: Organics, Vegetable Gardening | Tags: | Comments Off on How to Grow Spinach

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