spinach

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rowlandwells

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spinach
« on: January 13, 2019, 18:28 »
I've had some good advise on Kale now I'm looking for the same advise for  spinach I would like to sow spinach for summer use and an overwinter for winter or ealy spring use

I've looked at a variety called Viroflay a french heiloom variety said to produce large trawel shaped leaves very winter hardy the other variety was Banjo for summer use


i grew some perpetual variety years ago but wasen't that struck on the tast and the tough leaves so any advise most welcome for both a summer type and overwinter

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DHM

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Re: spinach
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2019, 07:23 »
Apologies for not answering your question directly, but I'd recommend sowing Swiss Chard instead whose leaves can be used as you would use spinach; they wilt nicely during cooking but hold their structure too so don't go mushy like Spinach can do. You also have the added bonus of the stems which you can use in lots of things.

We started taking leaves off ours in Summer and they're still going strong now, constantly sprouting from the centre as you cut the outer leaves away. Prolific, versatile, , winter hardy, low maintenance, and no pests or diseases and if you sow the rainbow variety, look fab too. We'll never grow spinach again after growing the chard this year.

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New shoot

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Re: spinach
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2019, 11:16 »
Also easier than spinach and much milder tasting than perpetual spinach or chard is Erbette.  The stems are much thinner as well.  It is allegedly less hardy, although I overwinter here down in the south.

It tolerates part shade and even prefers this over the summer.  I pick and pick mine for months before it eventually goes to seed.

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Goosegirl

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Re: spinach
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2019, 11:44 »
Thanks for that NS, may try some this year. Is it better than kale for taste and yield?
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rowlandwells

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Re: spinach
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2019, 16:55 »
o" Erbette  that's a new one on me but nothing ventured nothing gained as they say and Chard that's another well worth considering i asume you mean swiss chard? although I did grow some swiss chard last year but we never really got round to cooking  it properly do I assume both Erbette and chard are a stir-fry veg?


one of the reasons for asking about spinage was that i understood it to be  used in restaurant trade  probubly picking it young [baby veg] for salads i think its all about knowing how to use and cook these veg's  :unsure:

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Dev

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Re: spinach
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2019, 17:05 »
I would recommend spinach Medina. If you sow it early spring you get a few pickings before it runs to seed, and then again sow in autumn and you'll get more leaves, particularly if you grow in a green house or poly tunnel. Chard Bright Lights is good for a long picking season - it will stand over winter and you get leaves in the hungry gap before it seeds. Never tried Erbette, but sounds like one to have a go with.

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rowlandwells

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Re: spinach
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2019, 17:25 »
looked at white silver as an early chard and bright lights as late variety and I take your point Dev about using the poly tunnel


will look up Medina as spinach crop thanks for the info RW

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DHM

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Re: spinach
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2019, 17:41 »
Sorry the rainbow chard I was going on about earlier is in fact Bright Lights Swiss Chard. We never ate it before we grew some and now its a staple in our house, use the leaves where youd use spinach (cooked or cold) or instead of lettuce in sandwiches and burgers, and the stems stirfried, braised as a side dish or chopped into pasta sauces. Goes particularly well with salmon and feta cheese. They behave like celery so can be softened or cooked lightly for a bit of crunch. The possibilities are endless really!

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New shoot

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Re: spinach
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2019, 09:06 »
Erbette is part of the leaf beet family, like chard and perpetual spinach.  I think it comes from Italy  :unsure:

Anyway, it is as said previously, much milder than both the others in taste, the leaves are more tender and the stems are thin.  You can pick young leaves for salad or use full sized leaves as spinach.  The leaves are large, so its quick and easy to pick as well.  Like chard and perpetual spinach, pick what you need and leave the plant to make more.

I chop it up and add into sauces, curries and soups at the end of cooking just to wilt it.  If I just want wilted greens to eat, I put leaves in a colander in the sink, pour a kettle of boiling water over it, leave it for a few minutes, then press the excess water out. 

Chard and perpetual spinach need a bit more cooking.  I usually blanch in a pan of boiling water by putting them in stems first and feeding the leaves in as the stems soften.  You can switch the heat off at this point and leave them to sit for a minute or two, then drain, squeeze out excess water once cool enough to handle and chop. You can also split leaves and stems as use in different dishes like DHM says. 

Once you start cooking such veg, a massive pile wilts to not much at all, so its easy to keep picking and then the leaves stay fresh tasting and fairly tender.  I think most people who say they don't like chard or perpetual spinach leave it to grow too long before picking.  Older leaves are a bit tough and have a more pronounced taste. 

I grow all of them and more types on top,  as we eat loads.  Leafy greens are so tasty, easy to grow, easy to incorporate into meals and are full of good stuff.   I'd say get growing and get 'em down you  :D
« Last Edit: January 15, 2019, 09:08 by New shoot »

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Goosegirl

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Re: spinach
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2019, 12:16 »
So between chard, spinach and kale which is the tastiest, and if it's spinach is the annual better-tasting than the perpetual?

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New shoot

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Re: spinach
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2019, 12:36 »
So between chard, spinach and kale which is the tastiest, and if it's spinach is the annual better-tasting than the perpetual?

Different textures, different harvest times and different flavours, so I don't see them as interchangeable tbh.

From mild and soft (i.e. wilt to a fraction of raw volume when cooked) to robust and more iron/green veg taste, I would say

Spinach
Erbette
Perpetual spinach/chard
Kale

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rowlandwells

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Re: spinach
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2019, 17:42 »
thanks for all those replies so much info on both growing and cooking  I have to admit they seem well worth growing as before I only grew them to make up the numbers and most went on the compost heap never again  :)

but there you go I 'm not to old to learn these things just when  I thought I knew it all  :D and that's a good bit of advise new shoot get going and get 'em down you very true  :D

cheers RW :nowink:



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