Packet Content (approx.): 150 (2.3g)
Perpetual Spinach is not spinach, nor is it perpetual, but it does grow reliably for quite a long time in the garden.
This old heirloom is, in fact a relative of chard. You rarely see it in the shops because it ideally needs to be picked soon before eating. Plants produce a mass of shiny mid-green leaves with white midribs, on thin green stems stalks taste something like mild asparagus, which will continue to be produced right through the winter. This variety is also known as Leaf Beet. Perpetual Spinach has a slightly milder taste that true spinach.
Sowing Indoors: Sowing early.
- Perpetual Spinach is normally sown directly into the soil, but for an early crop, a few seedlings can be started indoors. Transplant them outdoors when the night temperatures are at a minimun of -2°C (28°F). It will sprout fairly early, and will not be harmed by spring frosts.
Sowing Direct: Sow in Spring.
- Sow the seed thinly 5cm (2in) apart at a depth of 1cm (½in). If growing more than one row, space the rows about 38 to 45cm (15 to 18in) apart. The seedlings will appear in about 15 days and should be watered for the first month or so if conditions are dry.
- The plants will need thinning to about 15 to 25cm (6 to 10in) between plants. If left until around 15cm (6in) in height before thinning then the thinned plants can be treated like an early harvest and the young leaves will be extremely tender and tasty.
- When the seedlings are about 2cm tall thin out to leave the strongest seedlings plenty of space to grow - chard needs 30cm between plants, spinach beet 38cm and spinach 25cm.
- Keep the soil around plants free of weeds and water plants in the soil every two weeks, adding a high nitrogen liquid fertiliser to the mix.
- Spring sowings should be ready to be picked within 12 weeks.
- Take what you need by cutting leaves from the outside of the plant, taking care to avoid damage to the roots.
- By picking often, plenty of new leaves will be produced.
Suitable for the garden, allotments and containers.
Be prepared to water well and supplement feed with high-potash feed during season. Regular feeding is recommended.