Start Spinach Seeds for Your Spring Garden


| 1/18/2011 9:29:43 AM


Tags: Spinach, Patsy Bell Hobson, Giveaway, Burpee, Salad,

PBHobson2Patsy Bell Hobson is a freelance writer. Read Oh Grow Up! for garden treasures. Her travel adventures can be read around the world at Striped Pot Travel with the world's best writers. When not in the garden or on the road, find her in southern Missouri.She is counting the days until the next gardening season. Find more garden, travel and random rants on her Facebook page. 

I am growing a vegetable I used to hate: spinach. If your introduction to spinach was from a can of that salty gray-green plant matter, you understand. Not even Popeye could change my mind.

In 2006, an Escherichia coli bacterium (E. coli) outbreak in spinach was followed by more food contamination incidents. In 2007 a company recalled bags of its spinach after finding salmonella during testing. And in 2010, spinach potentially contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes was recalled. Seed sales tell us that record numbers of people are purchasing vegetable seeds. More and more, we want to know where our food comes from. Food contamination is rarely a problem if the food comes from our own backyard. You can supplement a lot of family meals by growing spring greens, like spinach, beets, turnips and lettuce.

I'm growing spinach (Spinacia oleracea 'Bloomsdale Long-Standing') this spring. In fact, those first few leaves of these glossy greens never made it to the kitchen last year. I ate them in the garden. (They were that good.) A fan of heirlooms or not, this is a good spring greens choice that has been around for more than 100 years.

1-18-2011-4
Grow spinach this year for fresh, uncontaminated salad greens.
Photo by faria!/Courtesy
Flickr 

For this cool-season crop, save a few seeds from your spring planting and sow again for a fall crop. Expect a heavy, continuous yield of thick-textured, glossy dark green leaves. If you grow lettuce, you can grow spinach; its soil and light requirements are similar. Greens are a cool-season crop that love full or partial sun. Put a few radishes in with the spinach to serve as row markers. Gardening Tip: Try a couple of spinach varieties to possibly extend the season and see which one grows best for you. It might not be the same choice every year. 




elderberry, echinacea, bee hive

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