Saturday, 24 November 2007

Bed 6: NZ Spinach

Bed 6:
New Zealand Spinach
Also called Warrigal Greens
A native of New Zealand, Australia and Japan
Originally grown from a cutting from a local open garden (with permission of course!) It has re-seeded regularly in my garden and is now a welcome volunteer plant.

Growing Requirements:
Latin Name: Tetragonia tetragoniodes
Family: Tetragoniaceae
Sow: During warm times of the year.
Soil: Well drained, sandy, humus rich soil.
pH: 6.8 - 7 will tolerate quite alkaline conditions.
Spacing: 30cm apart.

My Notes:
The leaves should be blanched before eating.
It is used in dishes in which spinach or silver beet would be used.
It is a hardy plant tolerant of heat but can be knocked back by frost.
It is salt tolerant.
Propagated by seed or cuttings.
Shallow rooted but does not need high amounts of water due to the succulent leaves.
It's often found in sand dunes in coastal areas.
More water and nutrient will mean lush growth and better flavour but it will survive dry times to come back after rains.
Seems to grow happily with most other vegetables although probably best away from young seedlings that it may overcome with its excessive growth. I use it as a living mulch in parts of the garden.
Quite pest free with none causing significant damage.

The Seed Savers' Handbook by Michel & Jude Fanton.
Australian Plants Online


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