Re: [gardeners] NZ Spinach = Malabar spinach?

George Shirley (
Tue, 30 May 2000 18:29:23 -0500

Tall Girl wrote:
> George Shirley wrote:
> ..."Picked a few tomatoes, three or four Ichiban
> eggplant, some NZ spinach, and a bit of chard."
> I've tried twice to get some swiss chard started, and
> finally read that I need to soak it overnight first?
> Are there any other tricks?

I live in hot, humid SW Louisiana, USDA zone 9b, so never soak my chard seed
before planting. I think the trick is to water it in well and then jump back. Be
warned that cabbage loopers love the stuff as do leaf hoppers.

> Also, I've got some Malabar spinach growing from
> Burpee I think, but it's still awfully short, and I
> thought it was suppposed to climb.  Is this the same
> as NZ spinach?  My regular spinach has long ago bolted
> due to high heat, and I'd love some more greens for
> the summer!  Thanks, George.
> Kendra
> NW FL, zone 8?
Nope, Malabar and NZ spinach are two different plants. NZ spinach, at least for
me, is a sprawler with triangular shaped, fleshy leaves. From what I've read of
it it has been grown in the US since about 1750. It has greenish gray foliage
that is fleshy. I dry a lot of it for use in soups and stews over the winter and
eat it as greens all year. It reseeds readily but doesn't become a nuisance as
it is easy to spot and pull. One plant covers about 3 feet squared for us and
provides all the greens we need or want. We also direct seed it or, rather, let
it reseed itself.