Summer Spinach - Malabar, Red Stemmed
Basella alba var. rubraThick glossy leaves grow in the heat of summer on this annual vine, keeping up a steady supply of delicious leafy greens when all the others are bolting. This is the red-stemmed variety of Malabar, known as 'Rubra.' Soak seeds for 24 hours before planting. Harvest leaves and shoots for cooking like spinach or swiss chard. Train up a trellis, stake, or fence for an edible wall! These plants are not true spinach, but they will satisfy a mid-summer craving for nutrient dense greens when its too hot for most other plants. ( 3 Gram Packet)
|Average Seed / oz||Seed / 100' Row||Average Yield / 100' Row||Days to Harvest|
|1,400||1 oz||40 lbs||70|
|Planting Season||Ideal Soil Temp||Sun||Frost Tolerance|
|After Last Frost||50-85°F||Full/Part||Frost Sensitive|
|Sowing Method||Seed Depth||Direct Seed Spacing||Seeds Per Packet|
|Transplant or Direct Seed||1/4-1/2"||1/2"||80|
|Mature Spacing||Days to Sprout||Production Cycle||Seed Viability|
Spinach is a cool season plant that prefers moist, well-drained soil high in nitrogen. Choose a site with full sun to partial shade.
Seeds germinate best if soaked in water prior to planting. Germination rates are greatly reduced if soil temperatures are above 65˚F. Start seeds as early as six weeks before the last frost or as soon as you can work the soil. Sow seeds ½" deep and 1" apart. Seeds will sprout in 6-21 days. Thin seedlings so that mature plants are 4" apart.
Spinach can be planted in succession every two weeks throughout spring and again in late summer for a fall crop. With minimal protection, spinach overwinters in most areas of the U.S.
Harvest when plants have at least six 3-4" long leaves. Harvest by cutting leaves from the outside of plant first to prolong productivity.
Hot temperatures and long days will trigger flowering in spinach. Allow spring crop to flower and set seed. Seed is ready to harvest when the flowers have dried brown and seeds are black. Spinach seeds do not store for extended periods of time. Fresh seed should be used each growing season.