Spinach Alternatives

jdlaugh(Zone 6)May 14, 2012

I'm trying a couple spinach alternatives this year, hoping they can survive into summer. We've had mixed success with regular spinach, which is typically long gone by the first of June.

This year I've planted Malabar Spinach and New Zealand Spinach. Of course, neither is actually spinach, but are said to be close in taste and texture. Anyone else tried these heat-loving alternatives?

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I tried them both years ago. Got bad seed of the Malabar or would have had it last year. It's sorta like spinach. One of our favorite spinach subs is the weed lambsquarter, which self seeds all over our garden every year and we always leave one or two plants to make seed just so we can eat it. We also like Swiss Chard but I gave up trying to grow it here years ago because the blister beetles would find it and strip it in one night. But this year we've been eating it since Jan from an Oct planting in the greenhouse and althoug the lettuce and spinach planted in there at the same time has bolted, the SC is still putting on. And I also have a couple plants in the garden that came in a mesclun mix.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 4:42PM
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I have grown Malabar Spinach, New Zealand Spinach as well as Purple Mountain Spinach. They grow and produce very well here in Oklahoma. If you provide some tellies they grow even faster. I have great success in planting cuttings from the left out stems from the Malabar spinach I buy from buy from Asian stores. I also tried with seeds, but slow to start. They are very frost tender, I plant them in Mid may and start harvesting from June to until frost light frost kills them. I am not happy with later one the mountain spinach, it will bold too early (few volunteers this spring are already bolting) and taste is also not that good. But they are good for ornamental as they looks fantastic dark pink or purple in color.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 4:49PM
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Yes, I forgot to mention about the lambsquarter, it tastes better than other spinach alternatives. -Chandra

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 4:52PM
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