Green Food



How to Grow Spinach

This vegetable is too often regarded as something which is good for you and whether it is agreeable is another matter. Here again cooking plays a big part as to whether the family eats it as a nice vegetable and enjoys it or just because of its medicinal and tonic properties. Cooked slowly on a low light with no water or salt, served with plenty of butter, it graces any meal. There are several varieties but the Silver or sea kale beet (Lucullus) is far superior and should not be confused with spinach beet. When well grown sea kale beet is a noble vegetable with broad green leaves and a midrib 4-6 inches wide and I foot long. The green leaf can be stripped from this and used as a spinach. The stem can be cut and divided into strips and cooked as a vegetable, used raw as a salad or as a delightful pickle. Boiled, strained and packed into jars and covered with vinegar it will keep for months and tastes like samphire. spinach

 The gourmet will already know that samphire is a succulent growth gathered on salt marshes and found along the Lincoln and Norfolk coasts as well as along the Wirral and is a rare delicacy hard to come by. Anyone fond of sea food will assuredly be fascinated with this delightful way of serving it. It has the further merit that leaves can be gathered in most districts throughout the year and in difficult and cold districts the protection of a few plants with cloches wi]! ensure supplies of this most useful vegetable even during the winter. The seeds, which may be sown from April to July, resemble beet seeds and the resultant plants should be thinned out to a foot apart when 2-3 inches high. Thin out to about 4 inches apart at the first thinning so that at the next thinning the plants may be used whole as a tasty vegetable. Make a later sowing at the end of July to provide plants to stand the Winter, but as these will not grow so large, thin out only to 6 inches apart for their final thinning and do not feed or they will become too soft. The richer the soil, the better the plant, but reasonable crops can be grown in any soil from sand to stiff clay.

Whether a few leaves be picked from each plant, but a sound rule is to cut the whole plant of the April crop and to gather odd leaves from the July sown plants.

Pests and Diseases.

About the only pest likely to attack spinach is the black fly of the same ilk that attacks broad beans, but if the colonies which first appear on the undersides of the leaves are sprayed with an insecticide as SOon as they are first noticed, it can soon be controlled. There are no diseases that seriously trouble sea kale beet and there are no separate varieties to worry about.      

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