I first planted New Zealand spinach in one of my raised beds a few years ago and it didn’t … READ MORE »
New Zealand Spinach (Tetragonia tetragonioides)
Common Names New Zealand spinach, warrigal cabbage (En); tétragone cornue, épinard de Nouvelle-Zélande, épinard d’été (Fr); Nieuw zeelandse spinazie (Sp);番杏 (Cn)
In temperate regions, New Zealand spinach is planted in early spring; in tropical and subtropical regions, however, it is sown in early autumn. For a steady supply of spinach, sowing is done at two week intervals.
10-15 kg of seed is often used to plant a hectare of land area of New Zealand spinach. Seed rates should be reduced when New Zealand spinach is grown at high temperatures.
And of course, the best part of the spinach is eating it. You can harvest spinach whenever you want. This is one of those cut-and-come-again plants that I love so much because the ones you cut will regrow new leaves. Simply remove individual leaves as soon as they are large enough to use. Or you can cut the entire plant about an inch above soil level. A cut encourages new growth and another crop of leaves and that makes me a very happy and healthy gardener!
When spinach bolts – that means it has put up a flower stalk and “gone to seed” – it becomes bitter. This happens when the weather gets hot in the summer. At this point, the plant is done. Pull it out and add it to the compost pile, and replace it with your next crop.
Varieties of spinach for spring and autumn cultivation
Spinach naturally prefers cool temperatures. The hot temperatures and long days during summer promote spinach. At this point the leaves are usually no longer edible. Spring and autumn spinach is suitable as a pre- or post-crop for many plants that do not leave until May, such as tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum), cucumbers (Cucumis sativus) or beans (Phaseolus vulgaris).
- ‘Butterflay’: very fast growing and late maturing; strong, mildew tolerance and can also be grown as winter spinach
- ‘Lazio (F1)’: high-yielding and fast-growing variety with good resistance to weak mildew
- ‘Matador’: late flowering time; growing rapidly; high yield; frost-hardy and suitable for winter
- ‘Meerkat (F1) ‘: straight growth and fast development; round, smooth and attractive leaves well suited as baby spinach
- ‘Monnopa’: fast-growing, late-flowering tall variety; resistant to powdery mildew and tolerant to cucumber mosaic virus; monoecious
- ‘Palco (F1)’: fast growing variety with high yield; good resistance to powdery mildew and; mainly used for spring and autumn cultivation
- ‘Thorin’: developed from ‘Matador’; high resistance to sprouting; uniform appearance and mild taste; high yielding variety with large tender leaves; suitable for winter
- ‘Victoria’: old variety originating in England; slow growth but high yield; dark green, pointed and worn leaves
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