New Zealand Spinach
Tetragonia tetragonioides 50 days. Captain Cook first brought this New Zealand native to Europe in the 1770s after he discovered it to be a valuable source of vitamin C. This 2 foot tall perennial has 1–2 inch, distinctive arrowhead-shaped lime green leaves that have a spinach-like taste. Usually grown as an annual, sow it in the spring after the danger of frost has passed. Plant ½ inch deep and about 6 inches apart. After germination thin to 12–20 inches. Harvest the leaves and tender shoots.
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|Seed Depth||Seed Spacing||Soil Temp for Germ.||Days to Germ.||Thin Plants To||Seed counts are listed in the variety description.|
Savor the flavors that fill the kitchens of Europe. Fast and easy to grow, greens are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Enjoy them in soups, lightly steamed, or raw for a low calorie and highly nutritious part of your diet.
CULTURE: Gourmet greens are, for the most part, cool-season crops that perform best when planted in early spring or fall. Most will tolerate light to moderate frosts with minimal cover. Greens yield the most when planted in rich, well-dug soil in a sunny location. Rapid continuous growth is very important for the best quality. Plants are most vigorous and the flavors are milder and richer when daytime air temperatures are between 60-70°F. For mid-summer greens, purslane, endive, and New Zealand Spinach perform quite well. Most European greens are best direct sown into a well-worked seedbed. Apply 1 cup of our complete fertilizer per 10 row feet for peak production. Unless otherwise noted, plant seeds 1-2 inches apart in rows 16-18 inches apart. Most greens can germinate when the soil temperature is as low as 40°. Keep the soil uniformly moist for best results. Cover all seeds with Reemay or Grow Guard 20 to help deter birds and improve germination. Sow greens every couple of weeks to ensure a continuous supply of young plants. Thin after their second set of leaves have emerged. For transplants, see the Lettuce culture.
INSECTS: Aphids can be a problem and can be controlled with a strong spray of water, or applications of Pyrethrin or Azatrol.
DISEASES: Good rotation practices and garden sanitation are essential for disease control. Proper plant spacing that allows adequate air circulation helps prevent molds.
HARVEST: For the best flavor, harvest all greens frequently and when young. As with all greens, a rinse in cold water will help preserve the flavor and texture. To avoid bitterness, do not eat over-mature plants or those that mature in the heat of summer.