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I have finally a good size SPINACH in my vegetable garden.
I have not been lucky growing spinach here.
In order to have spinach seeds to germinate I had to put them in the fridge for two weeks before planting.
When I direct seeded them outside, they hardly come out ... (apart last year when it was 19F for that crazy Superbowl week)
After they germinated, they are so slow to grow ...
Look at the picture ... it was two weeks ago.
I did harvest all of those baby leaves ... but they are growing so slow.
What is your experience growing SPINACH?
Do they grow slow?
or maybe it is too hot for them here in Dallas ...
Eat all you can right now!
This is their time, keep up frequent diluted feedings with nitrogen.
They get growing with longer daylight hours, then bolt in warmer temps. Not much else you can do...that I know of :0(
I does seem strange to make all that space for them over winter, but you really do get much more growth then trying to start them in the spring.
thanks ... I think I plant ed Bordeaux and Villeroy.
They are really sweet right now.
Actually if I could learn how to grow them better I'd like to give them more space in my fall/winter garden ... and less to Kale
Could you think what will be the best time of the year to direct seed them?
Hi, I live in zone 8 in coastal NC. I don't know if it's much different in Dallas but I am able to sow spinach in the ground in mid October. It lasts through the light snows and infrequent freezes we get and by spring it's hardy. I hope this is helpful.
Spinach doesn't like my style of gardening. It is always slow for me. Swiss Chard loves the way I garden and to me when cooked it tastes just like spinach. I don't eat raw spinach and I have never tried raw chard.
I have a neighbor who grows nice spinach. Go figure.
Drthor, I'm only an hour away from DFW, my fall planting follows the Dallas schedule. I try and seed fall crops just as soon as the heat breaks, usually mid-September and try to have everything in no later then the end of October.
Haven't grown Bordeaux or Villeroy, you want to grow heat resistant varieties. Look for "slow bolting" when researching seeds.
I like OP and heirloom seeds, but haven't been able to save seed from spinach, it dies on me before seeds can mature. Next year I may go for a hybrid for more growth and, or, heat resistance.
Have you tried cooking beet greens? My understanding is that chard is a very similar plant, just no expanded root. There have been a few discussions of beet greens vs chard here and on the beginner's forum.
David, Yes, I have cooked and eaten beet greens but not since I started growing chard, so it's been a while. As I recall the last mess of beet greens I cooked had such a strong flavor that I didn't finish off all that I had cooked. I seem to remember that was about the time I became interested in chard.
I'll have to check out the discussions you refer to on the beginner's forum.
I plant Tyee spinach in the Fall as soon as the heat is gone, under cover. It grows slowly in the winter, but then in February really gets going and makes wonderful greens all Spring. The cover I used this year was the heaviest Agribon, called a frost blanket. It seems very dense, but works fine at 30 degrees latitude in Texas. We are in Zone 8a revised climate zone. I'll probably change it to a lighter weight cover before it gets very warm.
I must be missing something, that doesn't look bad to me. Especially considering you planted it this year as opposed to last fall. Have you havested any? My spinach comes back even better after I cut it back for a yummy salad.
Here in Zone 6a we don't usually have heat in springtime (this year is an exception) but I have reliably grown the 'Tyee' variety from Johnny's Selected Seeds, maybe Park's too and it has produced a good crop even in summer. Of all vareties I've grown this is the only one to make it through the summer. Choosing a bolt resistant variety is important. as they're more heat tolerant. I think a few things might help. Keep it well watered, use a weak fertilizer to keep it growing quickly and give it some shade. In the summer I plant it (and lettuce) on the north side of tomatoes or other climbing crops. Good luck.
I planted Tyee spinach and arugula this past Saturday. Tuesday the arugula was showing up, and so far no spinach. It had better hurry, because I have a feeling this is going to be a longer, hotter summer than usual.
I don't mind a mild winter one little bit. But could somebody please send us a mild summer? :p
I normally throw Arugula seeds in my garden in September. They will grow all thought the winter and they will bolt in the heat or they will taste really spicy like your mouth is on fire.
I have removed all of mine already.
Let me know how yours will do, ok?
These are mostly cool season greens to be steamed or eaten raw, but one of them might like your climate and gardening style, in the fall if not in the spring. The first two are just Asian varieties of spinach & chard. The last one is a little wild, but if you have a boggy spot, it does like heat.
"Oriental Spinach" - ral Spinacia oleracea, just another variety - Big, dark green, slightly pointed "arrowhead" leaves,
Long tender stems from Tainong seeds
Japanese Chard - Umaina fudansu from Kitazawa Seeds - minor variation on Swiss Chard, more tender & larger in my garden
Tatsoi - - Brassica rapa Narinosa - very sweet
Bok Choy - Brassica rapa Chinesis Group - I just unreservedly love this, young and raw, or steamed or boiled.
"Spinach Mustard" - Japanese Komatsuna - Brassica rapa var. komatsuna (turnip family) - hardly spicy at all
"Water Spinach" - Ipomoea aquatica - "phakbung" - "Kang Kong", semi-aquatic-BOG, sub-tropical, may be invasive in S. Florida
If any catch your eye, let me know and I'll share. Somehow I became an eager proselytizer for Asian Brassicas, I'm not sure why. Let's see, I curently have seeds for
over a dozen Bok Choy varieties (white stem & green stem),
4-5 Gai Lan varieties,
4-6 Yu Choy or Yu Choy Sum (with and without flowering stalks)
Komatsuna, Mizuna, Leaf Mustard / Small Gaichoy, Mustard 'Red Frills' and hot season Red Amaranth.
Maybe I just like the exotic names and haivng passrs-by ask me "what's THAT?!?"
Just not in time for this Spring crop! I'm swamped at the moment with car trouble and other chores!
Krist, I love to save seed, the spinach is a pain tho. You have to make sure you have male and female flowers and enough leaf for the seed to mature It's the females that have died on me in the heat, I don't know why they bloom later then the males. If you thump the blooms it easy to tell the males, they send up big puffs of pollen.
I've got enough left for a big Easter salad, then pulling them out.
My leaf brocolli overwintered without even wilting (it was mild for Zone 8b this winter).
I just noticed that it finally went to seed - I guess it must be biennial even thoguh that;'s not what I read about it.
And the winter-ed-over leaves boil up tender and no stornger in flavor than broccoli! Even the smaller stems are still edible!
Kristi, Thank you so much for the offer, but have plenty of arugula! It reseeds without trying here. I'm not taking any more seeds from you, until I can find something you want.lol What to get the gal who has everything :0) Did you ever get okra seed last year? I'm crazy getting stuff in the ground and want to get a trade list going, but until then..I hope you know, you can ask me for anything :0)
LOL ~ the girl that has everything??? Just everything I want in plants/seeds except a yard person to assist and I know you are not available. So sad.
It wasn't I regarding the okra. I've grown Lee okra for a while and this year I tracked down some heirloom seed for Becks okra. Least I think that is the name without going and looking.
I gave up on the arugula. It was windy, rainy yesterday and laid the plants flat. I popped some of the older seed pods and they weren't ripened so I uprooted and tossed all on the compost pile for now. From one extreme to another...
Hoping no one was in harms way from the storms today either. Stay safe.
I picked and pulled the last of the spinach this week. Some of the males had already looked like they were dying, some were getting closer to blooming..and still no sign of female flowers.
Kristi, eager to hear what you think of Beck's..I'm intrigued by it's size alone and curious to see if they could be stuffed, like a pepper. Dh loves stuffed, grilled jalapeno, but they don't like him.lol
I harvested a handful of arugula, did you need some? Anyone? Speak soon, I'm going to broadcast these over the new garden plot :0)
I don't season, I eat them with hummas ( the bean dip, not compost, not sure if that's spell correctly. lol). they're too thin to actually 'dip', I use a knife and spread a small amount on the chips.
Any suggestions on how I might be able to season them?
a wee bit of cayenne, yummm. Have been finding dried veggie chips on store shelves- they are so good!!! little tiny bags of dried beets, sweet taters, carrots, green beans, eggplant 'french fries', little white taters, and golds, -just wish i had a way to do some of my own- the oil or butter they are dried in is also addictive- they are just GOOD
Hi Lisa... I've not tried it yet but picked up a food dehydrator (garage sale NIB) for drying herbs. Now I'm ready to experiment with other foods and have heard dehydrated okra is like eating popcorn. Who wouldn't like that?
I'm guessing I'll need to research on what seasonings and narrow it down to those I like. Thanks for the cayenne suggestion Kittriana. I suspect some of the oils/butters they use in commercial products are not so healthy but maybe still better than other junque food. lol
Drthor ~ I smiled at your comment above " I found out that I can grow crops that I don't like sooo much better than the one I love" That is so true!
Do you have any lettuce cultivars that you've had luck with in summertime? I am trying a heat resistant romaine lettuce and wondered if there might be a similar spinach cultivar.
Well, after all man's search for salt led him west over the rockies, true, but these were home dried... think they used olive oil as the coating base and some of those herbs like rosemary and chives and thyme are better than even sea salt for flavors, on that okra drying- the ones i crunched were done whole, peas are chalky, ptew, and as you munch the veggie rehydrates in your mouth, I suspect you wont care for the okra dried, but the green beans are sweet, and very very young okra-2 fingers tall tastes like green beans and has no slime...good luck
one of my first vegetable gardening class I have attended here in DFW at my very beginning ... the speaker crushed my dreams of a SLOW BOLT lettuce variety.
She said: noooo way !
and guess what? she was kind of right.
I have grown Malabar Spinach ... which they taste ok ...
My Swiss Chard keep growing in the semi-shade area, so I use the tender leaves for salads.
but ... let me know if you will find a good no-bolting variety for TX heat
Okra .. yummy !
I grill the small entire pods on a cast iron pan. As soon as they will turn a little black, I remove them from heat and drizzle Olive oil, salt and pepper and sometime some Parsley too. DELISH !!
Grilled Okra is NOT slimey ...
Thanks Kitt, I'm using a dehydrator, without oils and really wondering how they make seasoning or herbs stick. It's forced air...would that make the cayenne blow all over the kitchen? Do you add oil before or after drying? I've stayed really basic with my dehydrating, because I'm clueless.
Do you suppose the vegies are marinated before dehydrating? I need to do more research...
Drthor ~ I planted Jericho romaine. I also saved some seed for fall planting just in case. I am one of those that likes to eat Malabar spinach leaves raw. It just seems to be a slow starter until we get sweltering hot. I'm hoping to find edible greens in between times. lol
I don't worry ... I eat always what is in season ... it seems plenty anyway.
Right now, lots of Swiss Chard, Okra from the freezer, still some fennel and soon peppers ... and tomatoes ... yummy !!