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Beetroot

Approaches to growing:

Spinach (Spinacea oleracea)   Edit Report inappropriate crop

Spinach isn't going to turn you into Popeye but this is still a really delicious, quick-growing vegetable, invaluable in Sag Aloo or when picked young as a beefy addition to salads. It originates in China and likes cool damp conditions which leads to its most common problem - bolting - in hot, dry conditions, a particular problem on sandy soils. Seeds used to be round for summer and prickly for winter varieties but modern breeding has produced seeds that cover both periods.

Likes and dislikes
Soil
Stonyok
Lightdislike
Loamyprefer
Heavyok
pH6.5 - 7.5
Manure
Previous cropprefer
Previous autumnok
Before plantingdislike
Position
Full sunprefer
Partial shadeok
Shadedislike
Exposure
Openok
Shelteredprefer

Summer

sow outdoors sow outdoors

Between plants: 15cm
Between rows: 30cm

Sow very thinly, 2.5cm deep in drills at fortnightly intervals, on pre-warmed soil under cloches or through plastic for earliest sowings. When seedlings are large enough to handle, thin to 7.5 cm apart and then further to final spacing when leaves begin to touch. Young thinnings can be eaten in salads or cooked when larger. Note that seeds do not germinate well in hot weather. On lighter or drought-prone soils, planting between taller crops can provide some vital summer shade.


harvest harvest

Pick leaves continually from the oustide of the plant when they are about 5cm long for use in salads but don't strip the plant bare (i.e take no more than half the leaves). Alternatively wait and cut the whole plant for cooking - new shoots will appear from the stump.


Winter

sow outdoors sow outdoors

Between plants: 30cm
Between rows: 15cm

Sow 2.5cm deep in drills at monthly intervals. When seedlings are large enough to handle, thin to 7.5 cm apart and then further to final spacing when leaves begin to touch. Young thinnings can be eaten in salads or cooked when larger. Note that seeds do not germinate well in hot weather.


harvest harvest

Pick leaves sparingly from the oustide of the plant when they are about 5cm long but don't ensure that you leave the plant strong enough to survive the winter weather. Alternatively wait and cut the whole plant for cooking - new shoots will appear from the stump.


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