In an attempt to cheer myself up, I nipped to the plot after work to harvest something – anything – to go into my dinner. I was greeted with not very much. This year, I’m well and truly stuck in a hungry gap.
However, just when all was lost, I remembered my healthy, hardy, and prolific perpetual spinach. Whilst all around is bare, this good old, reliable chard just keeps on going.
As I picked myself a generous handful of the green leaves, I realised that I haven’t bigged up perpetual spinach for a while. Normally, I’m on a one-man crusade to get all and sundry growing and eating this leafy chard.
Singing the Praises of the Underdog
There are all sorts of exotic, delicious, and exciting things to grow on an allotment. Squashes, tomatoes, and strawberries are all examples of traditional headline grabbers, but I think it’s the perpetual spinach that does it for me. It’s certainly not glamorous, but I’ve always loved an underdog, and after this evening’s plot visit, I’ve come to the conclusion that this underrated veg is my favourite of the lot.
What about the dainty raspberry, that archetypal English summer treat, I hear you cry? Or the amazing, blink, or you’ll miss it asparagus? Well, I’m a sensible chap. I like something I can depend on; something that’ll be there when nothing else is.
Sow it Now!
So, I thought I’d give perpetual spinach some more blog love, especially as now is the perfect time to sow it.
I sowed some seeds about a fortnight ago, to cover me for Summer and Autumn, and I’ll sow again around August / September to provide me with leaves for Winter and next Spring.
Perpetual spinach is so easy to grow too. There really is no magic formula. Sow as normal, sprinkling seeds generously and cover with soil. I don’t even bother thinning out, but the seedlings don’t complain at all if you want to try transplanting them for the maximum crop.
It’s a fast grower, and I’ve harvested within a month of planting during peak summer months.
This is notwithstanding all the other reasons to grow perpetual spinach either. It’s nutritious, and incredibly versatile, especially for padding out dishes with a healthy, colourful addition.
If used instead of real spinach, this chard alternative is a surprising money saver. Last year, it saved me £28.67 during my money-saving experiment. Being a cut and come again variety, the more you pick, the more it produces too.
If you do nothing else this coming weekend (it’ll probably still be raining), sow some perpetual spinach seeds. I promise you won’t regret it, and the little tiny seeds will pay you back again and again.