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Spinach

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Tips for growing Spinach
Until I'd met Spinach Lasagne, Spanakopitta, and all sorts of Middle Eastern dishes, spinach was a vegetable in a tin left by a previous tenant; and there it stayed - I wonder how long it took to find a student so poverty stricken that they actually used it?
Treated with respect, it is a royal vegetable.
It is a slightly fussier plant to grow than the beets, though. Be careful - New Zealand Spinach is a different plant altogether, and needs to be grwon differently.
* It needs good soil, well manured the previous autumn. Summer spinach needs dappled shade - in the shadow of a tree, or between rows of tall vegetables; winter and New Zealand spinach need sunny beds.
* Sow mid-March to the end of May in Shallow drills, 12 inches apart. Sow them thinly and cover over.
* Thin the seedlings out early to single plants about 3 inches apart, and thin again later - a bit like beetroot, when the thinnings are big enough to use in the kitchen.
* They will need lots of water during dry spells. They are almost entirely trouble free - as long as the soil is rich enough, and there is enough water. Any lack, and the plant will suffer a panic attack and bolt!
* When the outer leaves are large enough to use, pick them carefully and regularly. Don't let them get too big or tough to use, and leave the central newest leaves to develop. Pick continually to encourage fresh growth. You can pick up to half of a summer spinach plant, much less of the winter spinach.
* Sow for summer and winter, pick regularly, and there might be as little as a month when you don't have spinach to serve


 

 

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