Spinach - varieties and cultivation techniques
Spinach is an extremely healthy plant
Several years ago I received an inheritance from my father's distant relatives (whom I had never seen), an abandoned and uncultivated plot for many years. Not only was it overgrown with weeds, it was also in the lowlands.
And in such a way that in some places even the cranberries were growing! When examining the place where there was a greenhouse, and only half-rotten, lopsided columns remained from it, I came across an unfamiliar plant among many all kinds of weeds ...
It was thirty to forty centimeters high with large dark green fleshy leaves. As it turned out, it was spinach. A little to the side, I saw another plant of the same kind, then another and another. True, many of them were no more than 5-10 centimeters high. Probably, they sprouted from self-seeding. It turned out that there was a whole "plantation" of them here. It was in the spring, it turned out that the spinach overwintered and was now clearly prospering.
Features of culture
Spinach itself is a genus of herbaceous one- or biennial plants of the Marev family. At the beginning of the growing season, it forms a rosette of leaves used for food at this stage, and later gives a flowering stem. Male flowers are collected in paniculate inflorescences, female flowers are located in the leaf axils. Cross pollination.
Male plants bloom earlier than female plants and die off after flowering. The fruit is a round nut or with spiny outgrowths.
Spinach is a relatively cold-resistant early maturing vegetable... Seeds germinate at a temperature of +4aboutC, an adult plant can withstand frosts up to -8aboutC. Although, of course, spinach suffered a much lower temperature in my area. The optimum temperature for normal vegetation is + 15 ... + 18aboutFROM.
At temperatures above +20aboutC, the plant begins to shoot. It should be noted that spinach is a short day plant, and if the duration of daylight hours is more than 15 hours, it will also throw out the arrows. Therefore, I believe that the most suitable time in the Northwest for growing spinach is early spring (April) and closer to autumn (second half of August). Although, as they say, the owner is a master.
I have heard that autumn spinach is more productive and tastier than spring spinach. This statement is justified by the fact that at cooler temperatures and on shorter autumn days, the plant does not tend to shoot arrows, but only forms leaves.
I myself have tried sowing spinach in both spring and autumn, but, I confess, I did not see much difference. Therefore, I rely on the opinion of others: as usual, from the outside it is always more visible.
In ancient times, spinach was called the king of vegetables, in modern times - vitamin champion... And in fact, spinach leaves contain: 7.5-10% dry matter, 0.3-1.4% sugars, 2.2-3.4% protein. This vegetable is especially appreciated for its high content of vitamins: B1, IN2, E, D2, PP, P, K, carotene. In addition, it contains many other useful substances, such as folic and ascorbic (vitamin C) acids, salts of calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, and easily assimilable iron.
Spinach is the undisputed champion in iodine content, which is vital for the human body for the normal functioning of the thyroid gland. Eating spinach is very useful for children, as it prevents rickets. In addition, such a rare combination and variety of biologically active substances makes spinach one of the most valuable dietary products.
Rosette leaves are used for food. They are often used boiled in first and second courses, as well as for canning and freezing. But spinach is most useful raw, like a salad.
It is advisable to sow spinach in sunny, wind-protected places. This plant is demanding on the quality of the soil, it should be grown in fertile, well-drained soils rich in organic matter. The most favorable should be considered fertile sandy loam and loam... Good precursors for planting spinach are tilled crops with manure.
Less fertile soils must be fertilized with humus or composts... It should also be remembered that this vegetable grows rapidly only in moist soil. Therefore, it is necessary water regularly... This fully applies to both spring and autumn cultivation. Lack of water inevitably leads to early shooting, which has an extremely negative effect on the quality and quantity of the crop. But here one should take into account such an important nuance: excessive watering in cold weather leads to the fact that spinach affects root rot: the roots of the plant turn black and die. The main symptom of this misfortune is leaf wilting, even in sunny weather.
If the rules of agricultural technology are violated, another danger arises - downy mildew... It affects the green parts of the plant (mainly the leaves). Infected spinach leaves develop spots, whitish, grayish or purple bloom appears on their underside. From my own practice, I can say that sometimes downy mildew disappears along with dead infected leaves. However, when my wife and I left the dead plants for the winter, in the spring the parasitic fungus appeared in the same place. The set of ways to combat this rather widespread disease is very small: strict adherence to agrotechnical practices, selection of resistant varieties, pollination and spraying plants with fungicides... Just keep in mind that these drugs are "pure" chemistry.
Also, remember that any disruption to the natural spinach cycle will inevitably lead to its shooting. In addition, along the way, I will note: at the slightest attempt to shoot, immediately break off the top of the plant.
Spinach is sown in rows with row spacing of 20-25 cm and buried to a depth of 1-2 cm. Seedlings must be thinned, leaving at least 10 cm between plants in a row.Some gardeners, instead of the usual thinning, when the weakest plants are removed from the garden, they do the opposite - pull out the strongest and eat them. The result is the same, the remaining plants become freer. True, their growing season can be delayed, which does not exclude the appearance of shooters.
In order for spinach to be on the table as long as possible, it should be sown at different times, choosing the most suitable varieties for this. I have already mentioned that the most preferred time for sowing seeds is spring - autumn. But this is not necessary at all, sow when you see fit. In order to collect seeds for future planting, do not cut the leaves from several bushes of the spring planting. These will be the testes. When they start shooting in the summer, water them. Check the condition of the flowers constantly. As soon as the seeds are ready to crumble, collect them immediately.
It is very important to monitor the condition of the spinach beds, as very often strong, aggressive weeds suppress its tender shoots.
Depending on the variety, spinach ripens at different times. The earliest ripening varieties give marketable greens (leaves) 15-20 days after sowing, and their seeds are ready in 80-100 days. Spinach is harvested when the plant has 5 to 8 well-developed leaves and is finished before the arrow appears.
Of the whole variety of spinach varieties, I will name only a few of the most famous. First of all, it is a variety Gigantic. This is an early ripening variety: from germination to harvesting 15-20 days. It is suitable for early spring sowing in greenhouses and for sowing in autumn.
Variety Matador, mid-season (25-30 days). Suitable for both spring and autumn sowing. Demanding on moisture, resistant to cold and shooting. Suitable for fresh use and for freezing.
Victoria... Late-ripening variety (30-35 days). Quite resistant to shooting, to downy mildew. Demanding on well-fertilized soil.
Sturdy. Mid-season variety (25-30 days). It tolerates cold well and is resistant to shooting. Universal use: raw, boiled, frozen, canned.
Stoic... Early ripe variety (15-20 days). Stably resistant to nitrate accumulation. Used fresh, for freezing and preserving.
In addition to these varieties, there are such: Fatty, Virofle, Vital, Herma, Industry, Norman, Winter giant and many others. I happened to hear about an exceptionally high yield of New Zealand spinach. Since I myself did not see it, I did not hold it in my hands, therefore, apart from the praise I heard, I have no other information.
Which pests and what diseases can threaten spinach
Spinach has a lot of enemies, and if the gardener does not respond to the threat in time, it can completely lose the crop. The main enemy is the ubiquitous aphid. It is not recommended to deal with it with chemicals, since many harmful substances can remain in the fleshy leaves.
It is better to resort to folk methods:
- A decoction of ash (300 gr. Wood ash, pour 6 liters of boiling water, leave for 2 hours, process the plants abundantly).
- Wormwood infusion (grind 400 g of wormwood leaves, pour 5 liters of water, stand for a day, spray).
- Soap solution (dissolve 2 bars of laundry soap in 5 liters of water, spray the plants).
Snails also do not mind, enjoy delicious leaves, in a few days with a large accumulation of pests, you can lose the entire crop. Simple traps will help here, which you can make yourself. To do this, take plastic bottles, cut off the bottom, and bury them in the beds with spinach, making sure that the edges of the trap do not rise above the surface of the ground. It remains to pour some beer into the trap in the evening, which will certainly attract pests. In the morning, you can harvest snails that could not get out of the plastic cup after the feast.
Of the diseases, powdery mildew can threaten spinach. You need to deal with it even when planting a plant - it is important to place the bushes at the required distance. A dense planting is the main cause of the onset of the disease. With a slight infection, you can try to spray the spinach with whey or garlic infusion (insist 100 g of garlic in 3 liters of water for 2 days).
Root rot can also kill spinach. Measures that will help to avoid the disease are timely loosening of the soil, thinning of plantations. The use of chemicals is not recommended - if the disease cannot be avoided, the plant can no longer be saved.
The increased cold resistance of spinach makes it possible to obtain winter yields of this plant. In such cases, sowing in open ground is carried out from the end of August and ends in mid-September. The seeds sprout quickly, therefore, even before the first frost, a small rosette of leaves has time to form on the shoot.
In this state, spinach, covered with a layer of snow, calmly tolerates the winter cold and with the onset of spring, as soon as the snow clears the soil, the plant starts to grow. And after about 15 days, spinach greens can already be harvested and eaten.
There is another winter sowing technology that allows you to grow spinach even earlier than with the method described above - about a week. For this, the seeds must overwinter in the soil, without having time to germinate, therefore, they are carried out at the end of November.
We recommend choosing loamy soils for growing spinach. However, if there are none, then the disadvantages of sandy soils can be compensated for by frequent watering, and soils, which are characterized by a high level of acidity, need to be limed.
One of the features spinach lies in the fact that it does not react well to the presence of freshly applied organic fertilizers in the soil. In such cases, the taste of the leaves changes noticeably for the worse. However, leaving the soil completely without fertilizers is also not suitable, since this significantly reduces its fertility.
This problem is solved by planting vegetable crops in front of spinach, under which organic fertilizers are applied. And in the fall, having collected a crop of vegetables, the site is dug to the depth of the humus layer, after which mineral fertilizers are applied. For 1 sq. m .: superphosphate - 30 g. potassium chloride - 15 g. At the same time, if necessary, liming of the soil is carried out. If the site was not used for winter crops, then in the spring, 20 g of urea per 1 sq. M. Are introduced into the soil under a rake.
When sowing in spring, to accelerate the emergence of seedlings, the seeds should be soaked in warm water until they swell. This usually takes 1-2 days, after which the seeds are dried until their mass becomes free-flowing. Seed consumption rate per 1 sq.m. for spring sowing it is 4-5 g. Seeds are sown in rows with a distance of up to 30 cm. The seeding depth is 2-3 cm. The soil, which is sprinkled with seeds, is rolled up, but not tamped, since spinach needs its looseness.
When seedlings appear, they must be thinned out. There should be at least 8-10 cm of free space between adjacent plants.
It is very important to avoid premature shooting of spinach, which is promoted by dry soil and the presence of phosphorus-potassium fertilizers in it. Therefore, if there is a need for feeding, then exclusively nitrogen fertilizers are used. Fight the dryness of the soil at the summer cottage by means of regular abundant watering.
Planting spinach in winter, spring or fall?
Many summer residents are concerned about this issue, therefore, so often recently, you can find different recommendations on how to plant spinach and how to grow it. After all, it has long been proven that the presence of 4 kg of spinach greens in the annual diet saves a person from many health problems. At the same time, the agrotechnology of growing spinach is very simple, this culture is early ripening and gives a very generous harvest practically throughout Russia.
Of course, you can only achieve good results when growing spinach with the right approach to this process. Several points are important at once, among which the most significant is the time of planting in the beds, because spinach is very different from other garden greens, more familiar to a Russian summer resident. If you do not understand when spinach should be planted - in winter, spring or autumn, then read my reflections, explaining the answer to this question.
The main difference in planting it at different times of the year is that in the spring, when daylight hours are lengthening rapidly, spinach begins to bloom very quickly, as a result of which, of course, the total volume of greens produced decreases significantly and its quality changes noticeably for the worse. Therefore, you need to plant spinach as early as possible, of course, taking into account the weather conditions.
It is in this discrepancy - it seems like the snow has melted, and the plant is already growing, and not only starts to grow and its early flowering takes a lot of energy, and the main difficulty lies. On the one hand, from the point of view of the length of daylight hours, planting spinach in winter is the most optimal. The best time for this is the end of February. But on the other hand, this period in central Russia is still characterized by very cold weather, which leads to large losses in germination.
How do you solve this problem and get a really good spinach crop?
Experienced gardeners advise sowing spinach seeds before winter, that is, in autumn. After all, this culture is distinguished by sufficient cold resistance, so if you sow its seeds in such a way that before the onset of severe frosts, the crops not only sprout, but also manage to form rosettes, then you can get a good harvest of greens in the spring.
The most optimal time for planting spinach in winter is from September 20 to October 10. In this case, the plants have time to get stronger just enough to survive the winter frosts, and with the onset of the first spring heat, they move into further growth.
If you plant the plants earlier, then by the onset of cold weather they will have time to acquire a certain amount of delicate greenery, which will not be able to survive the frost, and through this the rest of the outlet will also die. If you miss the favorable moment and plant spinach later than the specified period, then the plants obtained by the cold weather will also safely endure the winter, but in the spring their renewed growth will not be so active, but flowering will begin much earlier.
Thus, with a later winter planting of spinach, its total yield per 1 sq. M. the beds are approximately equal to 1 kg of green leaves. Planting spinach in spring gives the same result.
Whereas, if you plant a crop at the specified optimal dates, that is, before winter in autumn, closer to winter, then the first crop can be removed already before mid-March, and in the future it will be possible to get green mass for another two months.
The total yield in this case, under the most unfavorable conditions, will be at least 1.6 kg per 1 sq.m. beds, on average it can even reach 2.5 kg of greenery.
Spinach greens taken from plants planted in the fall have another significant advantage over spring crops. Despite the fact that the greens turn out to be of better quality and tenderness, they still tolerate transportation very well over long distances, which spring spinach cannot boast of.
So planting spinach in the fall will give you a better harvest and also earn extra money, because surplus crops can be taken to nearby markets without fear that they will lose their presentation.
Spinach - varieties and cultivation techniques - garden and vegetable garden
HEALTHY PERFUL (ORDINARY)
A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF
Perennial plant from the family of St. John's wort. In the wild, it grows everywhere, preferring dry and bright places, meadows and edges, meadows. A plant with a height of 80-90 cm has a thin, fairly branched root. The leaves are small, oppositely located on the stem. They have numerous glands that are visible even with the naked eye (small dark dots that look like holes). The flowers are large, golden yellow, collected in an inflorescence. Blooms in June - August. When rubbing flower buds in the hands, the fingers turn a persistent purple color.
The substances contained in this herb can cause fever in animals. White and white-spotted animals, especially sheep, suffer the most. That's why it got its name - St. John's wort.
AGROTECHNICS OF GROWING
St. John's wort propagates well by seeds and dividing the bush. In the first case, it is advisable to grow seedlings. And they do it all summer long. The seeding depth is about 1 cm. Special attention should be paid to the moisture content of the substrate, to prevent it from drying out.
For St. John's wort, a sufficiently illuminated area should be taken away. In one place, it can grow for more than 10 years and therefore, before laying the site, fertilizers are applied (per 1 m 2): 3-4 kg of manure, 15-20 g of ammonium nitrate, potassium chloride and superphosphate or ammophos.
Raw materials are removed when the plant is fully blooming (on Midsummer Day - June 24). Cut it off near the soil, tie it into bundles and air dry in a shaded place.
FOR HOME PHARMACY
Hypericum tea. 2 teaspoons of herbs pour 1/4 liter of water and heat to a boil. Strain after a few minutes. Dosage: 2-3 cups of tea a day. The treatment should be carried out for several weeks.
St. John's wort oil. To prepare 1 liter of oil, you need to take 25 g of raw materials. Fresh, just blossoming flowers are ground in a porcelain mortar. Then add 500 g of olive oil, mix and pour into a jar, which is first left uncovered. In a warm place, the mixture wanders (it is stirred from time to time). When fermentation is over after 3-5 days, the jar is closed and kept in the sun until the contents turn bright red (after about 6 weeks). The oil is then separated from the aqueous layer and stored in well-closed bottles. Outwardly, it is successfully used as a rubbing in rheumatism and lumbago (lumbago), for wound healing, pain relief during tendon sprains, dislocations, hemorrhages and shingles.
St. John's wort oil can be used internally (1 teaspoon 2 times a day) as a mild choleretic agent or to soothe a stomach irritated by nerves.
Application in traditional medicine. St. John's wort, as in scientific medicine, is used primarily for treating wounds, treating diseases of the lungs, stomach, intestines and gallbladder, with bedwetting, diarrhea and nervous disorders. Tea, oil, and alcohol extract (tincture) are equally used - it also disinfects wounds.
Hypericum tincture. 10 g of dried herbs are poured with 50 g of 70-96% alcohol (vodka can be used) and insisted for 10 days. After pressing, the tincture is ready for use.
Hangover cure. 1 tbsp. a spoonful of St. John's wort, 4 tbsp. tablespoons of chopped rose hips, 2 tbsp. motherwort spoons, if any - 3 tbsp. spoons of honey - pour all this with a liter of boiling water, cool and strain. (Ideally, the broth is infused for 4-6 hours in a thermos.) We give this recipe after the tincture recipe because, unfortunately, it often causes a severe hangover syndrome. If you do not know the measures, of course.
Since St. John's wort increases photosensitivity, direct sunlight should be avoided during treatment.
In case of overdose and frequent use, St. John's wort, increasing the tone of blood vessels, can cause tachycardia.
Spinach - varieties and cultivation techniques - garden and vegetable garden
A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF
Perennial herb up to 170 cm high from the Aster family. Originally from Siberia. It has a rhizome, which, like the roots, has a specific odor. The stems are unbranched. Blooms in July - August. Violet-lilac small flowers are collected in spherical baskets sitting at the top of the stem. In the first year of life, the plant forms a rosette of leaves, and from the second year it blooms and gives seeds.
AGROTECHNICS OF GROWING
Leuzea - a moisture-loving and demanding plant for soil fertility. Responds well to organic fertilization. For 1 m 2, 3-3.5 kg of rotted manure, 15 g of potassium chloride, 30 g of ammonium nitrate and superphosphate are introduced. Leuzea propagates by seeds and vegetatively. Sowing is carried out in the spring. The row spacing is 45 cm, the distance between the seeds is 8-10. The seeding depth is 1.5-2 cm. Seedlings appear in 10-20 days. After the emergence of seedlings, thinning is carried out, leaving 1 running. m 4-5 plants.
With the vegetative method in early spring, a well-developed specimen is selected and cut into 3-5 parts with a sharp knife. Each part must have buds renewal. Planting is carried out according to the scheme 45 x 20-25 cm.
The roots are harvested from the second or third year of life. They are dug up in August - September after the seeds have ripened, quickly washed in water and dried. The shelf life of raw materials is 2-3 years.
FOR HOME PHARMACY
Doctors recommend Leuzea preparations patients with a bad mood, decreased appetite, irritability, headaches, as well as impotence.
Spinach - varieties and cultivation techniques - garden and vegetable garden
It is impossible to imagine our table without vegetables and potatoes. They are the most important component of the diet of both the academician and the carpenter. Vegetables - a pantry of carbohydrates, protein, organic acids, vitamins, mineral salts, enzymes, and other essential nutrients. Of particular value are vitamins, which are either almost absent or present in small doses in other products. Do not rely solely on grocery stores and markets, start your own vegetable garden. Especially if you want to have fresh vegetables straight from the garden. The secrets of growing vegetables are not that difficult. Diligence, perseverance, curiosity, ingenuity will help you overcome all difficulties and become a real vegetable grower.
So, advice from specialists and experienced gardeners.
To extend the season for the consumption of fresh vegetables, early, medium and late varieties are planted. The earliest harvests in the open field can be obtained from the cultivation of perennial crops (sorrel, rhubarb, perennial types of onions), as well as from winter sowing of carrots, beets, parsley, radishes and planting onions. Early vegetables of annual crops (lettuce, cucumbers, radishes) and onions can be grown in small greenhouses in the garden.
They accelerate the development of shelters made of film or glass without artificial heating in early spring. You can grow radishes under them. They can cover sorrel, rhubarb, onions, winter crops of beets and carrots.
Vegetable plants according to biological, botanical and economic characteristics, they are classified into homogeneous groups.
Cabbage plants. There are several varieties of cabbage: white cabbage, cauliflower, red cabbage, Savoy cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi and leafy cabbage. Almost all types of cabbage are biennial plants. Only in the second year, the planted stalks with apical buds give seeds. Plants of this group are cold-resistant, require increased moisture supply, although they do not tolerate excessive moisture (especially long-term), they are demanding on soil fertility. Cauliflower, Chinese cabbage and broccoli under certain conditions form seeds in the first year of life and are annual.
Mid-season cabbage varieties are suitable for pickling, late varieties for pickling and long-term storage. Red cabbage is unsuitable for cooking, it is used fresh for salads. Cauliflower is good for boiling, roasting, and canning.
Roots. This group includes: carrots, parsnips, parsley, celery (umbelliferae family) beetroot (from the haze family) radish, turnips, turnips, rutabagas, radishes (cruciferous family) chicory (from the aster family). All root crops form seeds in the second year of life (when planted with an intact apical bud), with the exception of radishes and summer radishes, which give seeds in the first year. Without exception, all plants of this group are cold-resistant, require high soil fertility, moisture supply (especially in the period after sowing the seeds).
Bulbous plants. In this group, onions, leeks, perennial varieties of onions (multi-tiered shallots, batun onions) coexist. All these plants are cold-resistant. Onions and garlic contain many nutrients and vitamins. Onions are grown by seeds (nigella), sevkom (small bulbs 1.5-2.5 cm, usually obtained from nigella) and a sample (3-4 cm or more).
Fruit vegetables. Cucumbers, zucchini, squash, pumpkin, watermelons, melons (pumpkin family) tomatoes, peppers, eggplants (nightshade family). All these plants are very thermophilic and require highly fertile soils. Almost every year, in our conditions, to obtain these vegetables, it is necessary to use protective agents against frost and low temperatures.
Peas, beans and beans (legume family) also belong to the group of fruit vegetables. Unlike their neighbors, they can withstand low temperatures. Beans are somewhat more thermophilic than peas and beans.
Green vegetables. These are the familiar salad, dill, parsley, celery, watercress, coriander (do not be confused that we also included some of them in the group of root vegetables - remember the sayings about tops and roots), as well as other cultures that we almost not familiar and not cultivated in the middle lane. All of these crops are cold-resistant annuals, they are mainly sown with seeds.
Perennial vegetables. It is somehow unusual to call sorrel, rhubarb, asparagus, horseradish vegetables - but it is so. All these plants are frost-resistant, in one place they can grow from two to five years. Propagated by seeds and vegetatively.
Potatoes. Among vegetables it takes a special place, it is bred to obtain tubers. Potatoes belong to the nightshade family. Potato bushes are easily damaged by frost. Propagated mainly by tubers, but you can also propagate it by eyes, sprouts, dividing a bush and even seeds (this laborious work does not give the same effect as propagation by tubers).
Part garden plot that you allocate for vegetable crops should not be shaded. If possible, you should choose a free, well-lit area with the most fertile soil (if the soil is not very fertile, you need to patiently start creating it for many years). A common mistake of novice vegetable growers is the desire for a combined arrangement of crops, when vegetables and strawberries are placed among young apple and pear trees. As long as the trees are young, everything seems to be going well: the crowns do not shade the beds too much, there is enough light and food for vegetables. But trees quickly gain strength, grow, and then the intermediate crops fall into the shade, their yield decreases from year to year. Indeed, most vegetable crops and potatoes do not tolerate strong shading and the presence of roots of woody plants in the soil. Therefore, one of the main rules for complex gardening and horticulture - provide a place for each crop and take into account the need to subsequently carry out a competent change (alternation) of vegetables and berries. After all, a certain culture should be returned to its original place not earlier than after three years, and even better - after four or five years. To do this, you need to draw up a clear plan for the placement and rotation of crops.
The timing of the return of crops to their original place is roughly the following: cabbage - 3 - 4 years, carrots - 3, peas - 4 - 5, celery - 3, tomatoes - 3 - 4, cucumbers - 3, lettuce - 1-2, onions - 4 - 5 years.
The yield decreases especially sharply and the quality deteriorates with permanent cultivation of cabbage, beets, peas, tomatoes, cucumbers, and potatoes.
When plants are re-grown on the same soil, a decrease in yield occurs as a result of the release of physiologically active substances into the soil, which subsequently inhibit the same culture.
The most appropriate width of the beds is 1.2 m. Between the beds, paths 0.3 m wide are left. The creation of narrower beds is a waste of the land of the garden plot, wider ones - it makes it difficult to cultivate the soil, care for plants and harvest.