User avatar
Avonnow
Green Thumb
Posts: 337
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:01 pm
Location: Merritt Island, Florida

Spinach

I got some spinach seeds and planted them beginning of January - it was cooler and they seem to be slow going. I looked up pictures of spinach as mine seems so leggy - does it form as a bush or various leaves - I read I could start cutting them when they had 6 or more true leaves. Do I need to do this to promote more growth. I was hoping as with my lettuce (which is growing like crazy) it would be quicker, so maybe I am doing something wrong. They just look sparse. Like a bunch of leaves no form like a bush or anything. Thanks in advance. The reason I ask is that everything I read said they grow fast. I am afraid now it is getting to warm for them. The days are around 80 for the most part and they are in aprtial shade. I did get some new seeds I am trying from Baker creek that are better in warmer weather, will see. :D
I love this! - There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.

gumbo2176
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3065
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:01 am
Location: New Orleans

Sherry, with your warm climate, similar to mine, I find it easier to grow swiss chard. It is more heat tolerant than spinach and much slower to bolt when the weather really warms up. Plus there's the added benefit that chard grows much larger leaves than any spinach I've ever grown.

User avatar
hendi_alex
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3567
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 11:58 am
Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

I would expect spinach to be a more appropriate fall crop in Florida. Spinach grows fairly slow during weather colder than 60 degrees and bolts and dies when the temperatures are much more than 80 degrees. The problem with fall planting is that the seeds need temperatures of about 60 degrees to germinate and that would push a Florida planting pretty late into the fall. But anyway I'm guessing that is about the only way you will get a decent, fairly prolonged harvest of spinach. I agree that Swiss Chard should do very well there, especially when grown as a fall crop.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

User avatar
gixxerific
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 5889
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:42 pm
Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

Everyone hit it, it's just getting too warm for spinach. You could try to give them more shade but more than likely it is over for spinach. Spinach really likes it cold and can sometimes survive a freeze if that tells you it doesn't like heat much at all. :(

I also agree with the chard being a good alternative for spinach. Chard loves the heat, cold, drought whatever. I had monster chard growing last year in the summer with leaves I could have made into shirts. Though ti is better when the leaves are younger these plants were just for decoration in the flower garden.

User avatar
Avonnow
Green Thumb
Posts: 337
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:01 pm
Location: Merritt Island, Florida

BOO HOO

I guess I will chalk this up to learning - I will give it a week or more and then cut what is there and eat it. I have never ever had Swiss Chard - sounds like something I need to grow in FL. I really thought starting it Jan 1st it would be cold enough (we had super cold weather last year, this year - good old Florida sunshine it is hot already. Thanks. Will Swiss Chard be like Collards or Turnip Greens in size, trying to figure how much room I would need for something like that. I will have to go find pics on the web.
I love this! - There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.

User avatar
alaskagold
Senior Member
Posts: 130
Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:12 pm
Location: Alaska

avon, have you had any issue with the salt in the air on the plants?

just curious. I have relatives in Ft Lauderdale, Miami, Keys and heck.. all over and they all complain that the salt is bad on their little plants.

User avatar
Avonnow
Green Thumb
Posts: 337
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:01 pm
Location: Merritt Island, Florida

Florida Water

I live in Merritt Island, a barrier island that is surrounded by two large rivers - the St Johns and Banana river. We are not right on these, my neighhbors across the street have the view. They really are brackish and not totally salt water. That being said we have a deep Artisian well in our yard that is very salty, we can only water the grass and palms, any flowering plant or shrub will die. :cry: I use city water, the lessor of two evils. The other day I put some seedlings in the yard to sun. My husband tested the sprinklers and didn't know, by the time we found them - DEAD, crispy fried. God rest his soul! :wink:
I love this! - There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.

User avatar
alaskagold
Senior Member
Posts: 130
Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:12 pm
Location: Alaska

Oh avon, that has to be annoying. ;)

interesting on the artistan well... I am surprised your grass doesn't fry in the sun.

as for spinach, try coffee ground soil. 2 cups coffee ground, 1 gallon soil (your choice), 1/2 cup sand and throw in some peat moss or wood chips to keep it moist throughout the day, this is per 2-3 spinach plant. Only put them out where morning sun will hit them and in the shade after 11 am your time. use COLD water as it doesn't stunt in cold water after they are 3 inches tall.

I grew a bunch of spinach last summer, even if it was humid and rainy. Broccoli, carrots and cauliflower are the same. If I were you I would try to start the seedlings in Sept-Oct time frame. :) good luck

User avatar
Avonnow
Green Thumb
Posts: 337
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:01 pm
Location: Merritt Island, Florida

Spinach

Interesting idea for spinach I may try the Baker creek spinach that boasts it is good in hotter weather with that. It is worth a try and I have no patience to wait until the fall to try again! :lol: Our grass is St. Augustine and it is grown right in Florida and can take the Salt. It seems to thrive. My seedling days are over, I have a last batch in the dome, but it is so warm, everything is doing fine with direct seeding. I have my flowers, and plants all coming up beautifully. I am very happy watching all the new growth. I was preparing because Florida did have a unseasonable cold Jan-March last year. This years seems right on target. Thanks for the idea. I do have alot of pots as well as raised beds, so I will use a large pot I can move around for that spinach. :wink:
I love this! - There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.

User avatar
jal_ut
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7480
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Spinnach puts out a floret of leaves. You can start picking leaves for use anytime. Some growers pull the whole plant, but I just like to pick some leaves and let the plant grow more leaves. When the plant reaches a certain stage it will send up a spike and bloom. At this point you may as well pick what leaves there are and pull the plant. You can let it go for some seed if you wish. Spinach can be planted very early in the spring. It does better in cool weather.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

User avatar
Avonnow
Green Thumb
Posts: 337
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:01 pm
Location: Merritt Island, Florida

Swiss Chard

Hey I wanted to let you know that I got some swiss chard - rainbow this weekend, I am going to try it. Question if anybody can help - do you eat this only cooked or raw in salads, a couple at home depot said not to eat it raw, only cooked like Turnips, Kale, or Collards. I have never had it. Looks hearty. Also do you just clip off leaves or stalks and it will keep producing or take the whole plant out.

Also I am trying some more spinach with Alaska Gold's technique and we will see, I am game for anything as long as I learn something. Thanks
I love this! - There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.

User avatar
jal_ut
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7480
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Chard: Steam it or eat it raw. Both stems and leaves. I just pick leaves and let the plant grow some more.

Beets: Same species as Chard. Both the roots and leaves are edible and tasty.

For either one of these thin to at least 4 inches between plants.

Enjoy.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

gumbo2176
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3065
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:01 am
Location: New Orleans

Sherry, I use Chard a lot. I split between raw in salads, sauteed with a little onion, garlic, sea salt and pepper, just enough to wilt it a bit

I also wilt it down a good bit like spinach and drain off any excess liquid and use it as a spinach substitute in lasagna. I prefer the meaty lasagna with ground meat and Italian sausage but will make the veggie style along with it when company comes over for dinner. Matter of fact, I've wilted down some tonight to be put on my version of garlic bread. I'm making garlic, cheese, chard bread tonight with 2 fried chickens, smothered potatoes and a large veggie salad. I've got company for Mardi Gras.

The best thing about Chard is it is more heat tolerant than spinach but I still grow it where it gets shaded in the summer. I'll plant it in the same row a foot or so away from my cucumbers by the trellis

User avatar
Avonnow
Green Thumb
Posts: 337
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:01 pm
Location: Merritt Island, Florida

chard root

What does the root look like? Or is it kinda like celery. I am interest and will do some more reading - I love greens - especially collards and Kale so hopefully this will be a nice addition - I usually don't try growing collards as they are HUGE plants. Is Chard the same, or more bushy.
I love this! - There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.

gumbo2176
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3065
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:01 am
Location: New Orleans

Re: chard root

Avonnow wrote:What does the root look like? Or is it kinda like celery. I am interest and will do some more reading - I love greens - especially collards and Kale so hopefully this will be a nice addition - I usually don't try growing collards as they are HUGE plants. Is Chard the same, or more bushy.
I don't think Jal was referring to eating the Chard root. My Chard plants have one larger root that is straight down from the stem, kind of like a tap root and other smaller roots branching off it. For the size of the plants, that tap root is not very large.

Return to “Vegetable Gardening Forum”