Sow or plant spinach
English spinach is one of the most sought-after leafy vegetables, and it’s handy having it growing in the garden. It can be tossed into salads, casseroles and curries, or blanched and served with eggs. It thrives in the cooler months and can be planted now in most parts of the country. You’ll find punnets of seedlings available, but seeds germinate readily, so consider sowing them directly where you want them to grow in the ground or in pots. Find a spot that gets at least four hours of direct sun a day, preferably morning sun. Prepare your bed well, removing any weeds and digging over the soil to a fine, crumbly consistency. Mix through some compost and an organic fertiliser, such as blood and bone or pelletised poultry manure. Rake the soil level, lightly dampen it, then sow your seed 1cm deep in furrows 20–30cm apart.
As long as you keep the bed moist, your seed should germinate in 1–2 weeks. Thin out excess seedlings, so that your plants are spaced about 15cm apart. Keep the water up to them, and treat them to some liquid fertiliser once every 10 days or so, and you should be enjoying your first harvest in 8–10 weeks.
English spinach is a classic pick-and-come-again type of crop, so always pick the outside leaves first, as you would with lettuce or silverbeet, leaving behind enough foliage to support continual growth.