VITAL VEGGIE FOR MAY: Spinach
Spinach is not only full of flavour, it’s full of goodness too! It’s high in iron and vitamins A and C, and low in kilojoules, so it’s good for the waistline too. What most of us know as spinach is usually Swiss chard. This is because Swiss chard is more readily available, as it’s heat tolerant, more productive and easier to grow.
Swiss chard and spinach both germinate easily, don’t take up much space and are easy to harvest. But they also need lots of food, so if you want to harvest on a continual basis, regular feeding is the secret of success.
PREPARE and enrich the soil before planting with lots of organics as well as bone meal for root development.
SOW both vegetables in situ. Swiss chard can also be sown in seed trays, as it transplants better than spinach.
KEEP the soil moist during germination – about five days.
SEEDLINGS should be spaced, or thinned out, to about 20cm apart.
FEED with a liquid fertiliser about two weeks after germination and once a month after that, or more frequently if you are harvesting regularly.
SUCCESSION planting is recommended. (This means planting another crop in the same space once the first crop has been harvested.) • For more information on how to bring life to your garden, visit www.lifeisagarden.co.za.