Heirloom Greens. First introduced in the 1700s by Captain Cook after he reached the New Zealand coastline, this easy to grow, leafy plant is not a true spinach, but when briefly cooked, its rich green, triangular leaves have a sweet, mild spinach-like flavor. It loves the heat and doesn’t mind the humidity, is virtually unaffected by pests or disease and makes a great spinach substitute to enjoy all summer. Highly nutritious and excellent sautéed, stirfried, quickly steamed, or in soups or stews.
|Plant In||Sun/Shade||Planting Depth||Space Seeds||Days to Germinate||Days to Harvest|
|Full sun||1/2 in.||3 - 4 in.||7 - 10 days||Approx. 50 - 60|
When spring weather is warm and settled and night temperatures are regularly above 50F (10C), plant in well-drained fertile soil in full sun. While not required, soaking seeds in room temperature water for 1 day before sowing will hasten germination. Sow seeds 3-4 in. apart and 1/2 in. deep in rows 12 in. apart.
If first sowing germinates unevenly, plant more seeds as they will catch up fast. When seedlings are large enough to handle, thin out seedlings so they are 10-12 in. apart, because this is a rampant branching plant that needs room to spread. Another crop can be sown at midsummer for extended harvesting until frost or cold winter weather.
When young plants are established and start branching, begin harvesting by pinching off the leaf tips or cut individual stems, leaving plants several inches long to branch and regrow. Water and fertilize lightly after cutting. While it can be eaten raw, we recommend always steaming or sautéing the leaves. When lightly cooked, New Zealand "Spinach" tastes like a very succulent "hot weather spinach." High in vitamin A and C and a good source of calcium, it is both delicious and seriously nutritious!
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