Bloomsdale Long

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Bloomsdale Long

How To Grow Spinach   by Jack West

In this article I'm going to discuss how to grow spinach.

Learning how to grow spinach is not really as difficult as you might think, provided you follow a few simple rules.

What you need to know first is that there are actually two types of spinach, true spinach and spinach beet - which is actually of the beetroot family, but the leaves are used in the same way.

As far as I am concerned true spinach has by far a better flavour and texture than spinach beet, but spinach beet makes a good substitute when true spinach is out of season.

True spinach is widely known as a health food, containing enormous amounts of iron and vitamins, so is worth growing for this value alone.

Spinach requires a rich soil, so dig in plenty of compost or horse manure or whatever prior to sowing. Sow in rows in March or early April and continue to sow every two weeks or so for an ongoing crop.

I sow the seed about four inches apart in rows a foot apart and then thin the plants to about 9" apart in the rows.

The plants need plenty of water, so keep the watering can going as they grow.

Many varieties of true spinach tend to bolt VERY quickly indeed. One I have tried for the last couple of years, called Bloomsdale, seems to bolt almost before the leaves have grown to a harvestable size, so I'm not going to do this one any more.

Another, called Long Standing, (seems obvious really), which I've grown for the first time this year is doing a lot better.

Pick the leaves when about 5" to 6" high.

To cook. Most people don't seem to understand that spinach is about 98% water!

Therefore, all you need to do is to rinse the leaves in a bowl of water, including some salt, in order to remove any wildlife (not that spinach suffers much from pests - mostly a bit of mud if the leaves have drooped on to wet soil) and then squeeze the leaves in your hands - really give the leaves a good squeeze to remove as much water as possible - and fling into a large pan containing a knob of melted butter.

Cook for a minute or two until the leaves just start to wilt and serve immediately.

Spinach really is the last veg you want to cook before dishing up your meal!

Spinach BEET, however, is a good substitute, as I said earlier. Sow as you would for true spinach.

The plants will grow much slower and much taller than true spinach. You can pick the leaves as often as you wish and they will overwinter before bolting and running to seed in May, so you can still pick in the spring.

However, the flavour, it has to be said, is not as good, although very acceptable, and the leaves need a little more cooking in order to wilt down.

So now you know how to grow spinach and spinach beet I'm sure you will want to grow them every season.

About the Author

Jack West is a garden writer who has been growing for over forty years. His main interests are growing food and flowers for the house. Very recently he has discovered an amazing new way of making garden compost which is far, far better for plants than traditional methods! This is truly groundbreaking (sorry) stuff! Get the red-hot info here:- http://kmeister.turnwill2.hop.clickbank.net/
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