Hot Weather Spinach!

Discussion in 'Crops & Gardens' started by Yvonne Smith, Feb 22, 2018.

  1. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Greeter
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    Spinach, and most other greens, like lettuce and kale, are mainly grown in cooler weather temperatures, and when it gets hot in the summer, then they will bolt and go to seed. This is exactly the time of year when we want to have salads and other cool foods; so it is frustrating that this is when they quit producing.
    I had tried Malabar spinach once before, but I didn’t grow very much of it, and I just kind of let it climb on the fence and I picked a few leaves now and then. This type of spinach is actually not a true spinach, but it has about the same vitamin and mineral content as regular spinach, and can be eaten either fresh in salads or cooked like spinach is.
    I ordered a seed packet for the red Malabar spinach from Amazon, and I am looking forward to growing it.
    Since it is a climbing plant, I can grow it along our fence line in sunny areas, and it will not only make good greens for this summer; but it will also beautify the fence . Once it goes to seed this fall, I can save the seeds and not have to buy more next year.

    After I ordered the Malabar spinach, I decided that i might as well go ahead and start some regular spinach that we can use this spring, and the seed packet that I had said it was New Zealand spinach.
    When I opened the packet, the seeds were about the size of current berries, and not the size of normal spinach seeds; so then I had to look up that kind of spinach, too.
    It is apparently also a hot weather plant and will produce all summer, just like the Malabar; but this one does not climb.
    I am looking forward to growing some of both of them and see how they do, and what they taste like !

    Here is a video that shows you what the climbing Malabar spinach looks like, and tells a little about it. This is just a very beautiful vine, in my opinion.

     
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  2. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Greeter
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    My Malabar Spinach has been really growing and is large enough that I have started to pick some of it.
    The leaves are as large as my hand, and the taste of this green is delicious ! It is more juicy (?) than regular spinach leaves, and has more of the soluable fiber like apples have.
    From what I have read, you can eat the vines as well as the leave; but mine are just starting to grow; so I have not picked any of the vines except to pinch them back at the top and let the plant fluff out more.

    B1A9C372-99F6-4F82-A730-15F685B9CC1F.jpeg 70D22A66-ACEB-4903-87C4-1396B3C59E5F.jpeg
     
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  3. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Do they sell that type in stores and if not ...why not?

    I'd buy it.
     
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  4. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    I love Spinach..can you send me some please Yvonne... ;)...I love it in Fish pie especially or in soups...not too keen on it in Salads tho'...
     
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  5. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Veteran Member
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    Wife loves Bud Light, a stout margarita or gin and tonic, but hates spinach. As for me, I like canned spinach, as well as the other things she likes.
     
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  6. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Greeter
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    I read that Whole Foods sells Malabar spinach ; but I went to the one here in town, and they did not have any with the regular greens they carry, @Chrissy Cross .
    You could check at Trader Joe’s, and if you have any Asian markets, call and see if they carry it. I don’t think that any of the regular groceries here have it, and I have not seen it at the little Asian market down the street either.
    Actually, I was hoping to grow enough extra that I could maybe sell some of the leaves to them; but I need mine to grow more first.

    You can buy the seeds on Amazon or ebay, @Holly Saunders , and they seem to be pretty easy to sprout and grow. Once you have some growing, you will have lots of seeds by that fall. Some people grow it just as a pretty vine, but both the leaves and the shoots are edible and eaten by Asians.
     
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  7. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    I don't think I've seen at Trader Joe's.and I'm always buying spinach...I love it.

    Whole Foods is further from my house and I would only go there if I was sure they had it.

    Of course I'm always buying the bagged 3 times washed spinach or baby spinach....never look at the unbagged ones...it would probably be there.
     
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  8. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Veteran Member
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    WHAT? Nobody likedes my joke, but a true one, about what my wife likes, but doesn't like spinach??
     
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  9. Yvonne Smith

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    My Malabar spinach is looking good and starting to climb taller now. I have some of it planted in a container on the fence, so it can climb up the fence once it gets going good, and the ones that are in containers on the ground, I used a tomato cage for those to climb up on.
    It is not big enough for me to pick much of it yet; but I am harvesting a few leaves here and there from the different plants, and I am going to start some more seeds in the Aerogarden.
    Here is a closeup of the one growing on the chain link fence. I poked a hole in the side of the container and secured it on the fence with a plastic zip tie.
    30242865-46BC-43F7-A8D3-6E8FBFA41380.jpeg
     
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  10. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Very Well-Known Member
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    I would try a farmer's market perhaps. If you ask the growers, they may have it and not bring it to market because many people don't know what it is. If you have a CSA in your area, contact them as well.
     
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  11. Yvonne Smith

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    It is starting to look like fall is coming, and now I am starting to get the plants ready that I will later be moving inside for the winter. My first project was the Malabar spinach, which I am almost done with.
    One plant has bloomed and is setting seeds now, so I left that plant alone. The others had made beautiful vines, and I have been harvesting leaves all summer for salads and cooking like spinach.
    They are all planted in pots, so it was easy to transplant them into nicer pots to being inside when it gets too cold for them outside, and I can harvest leaves during the winter also.
    I pruned the stems back, cut them into sections, and have a bunch of them stuck into a glass jar to root, and the base of the plants that were already rooted, I have re-potted into pretty containers.
    I am going to do the same thing with some of the basil because I like using it in salads, too, and I have a small rosemary bush that can come inside for the winter.

    I really like the Malabar spinach, and it is such a pretty plant that you could grow it just for its beauty even if you didnt’ want to harvest the leaves and eat them. I definitely hope that I can keep it growing year around.
     
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