(Spinacia oleracea) Spinach is a cold weather-loving annual leafy green. This frost-tolerant green is much happier growing in cool weather than hot weather, making it an excellent fall, winter and early spring green. Spinach is quick to mature, so it is well suited to succession sowing. Growers in very mild summer climates can grow spinach throughout the season; most others will take a break during the hottest part of summer, resuming as late summer cool weather returns. Direct sow (preferred) as soon as soil can be worked, or start indoors and transplant out 2 weeks before first frost. Seeds germinate in 5-10 days. Sow seeds 1/2 inch deep. Ideal germination temperature is 60-68F, however spinach seed will germinate down to 36F. Space plants 6 inches apart. Spinach can handle shade -- in fact hot summer growers should try to provide shade to keep the plants cool. Water regularly.
(Talinum triangulare) Also known as waterleaf, this tasty and versatile green is one of the most drought- and heat-tolerant edible plants we know. The seeds of this variety were shared with us by Solomon Amuzu of Ghana. He detailed how this plant was one of very few to survive the extreme droughts that Ghana has experienced since the 1980s. The whole plant is edible, from tender stem to leaves and flowers. This reliable and hardy edible food plant is used in salads, soup, stew and baking.
Average 55 days to maturity. A runaway winner of the Baker Creek tasting and growing trials, this stunning new superfood contains four times as much vitamin A as carrots! It is also a great source of minerals and protein. A cross between two of the most delicious and hardy greens -- tatsoi and komatsuna -- the lightly savoyed leaves of Chijimisai have a velvety texture and lightly umami flavor that make it a remarkable spinach substitute. This innovative “new” heirloom Asian green is both heat and cold tolerant, making it suitable to grow year round in most growing zones, save for the extreme seasons of some climates. This quick and easy-to-grow green is phenomenally tasty and more versatile than other greens. It is equally happy in stir fries and soups as it is in salads, lasagna or atop pizzas. Sure to be the next culinary craze and must-have market gardeners’ green, no patch of greens should be without Chijimisai!
A heat and drought tolerant green in spectacular splashes of color! Leaf amaranth is popular in Asia, eaten raw, stir fried, or steamed. This is by far the most tender and sweetest amaranth for edible greens, making for vibrant and delicious salad. The young leaves are a perfect spinach substitute; the intricately colored leaves are juicy and succulent. This is the go-to “green” for mid-summer when all others have bolted; harvested just 30-40 days from sowing.
- Full Sun
- Sprouts in 3-4 Days
- Ideal Temperature: 65-90 Degrees F
- Plant Spacing: 6"
- Frost Hardy: No
- Amaranthus tricolor
Growing Tips: Surface sow seeds directly in the garden after danger of frost, barely covering. Requires full sun. Tolerates heat and drought but does best with average moisture and fertility.
We are excited to offer this old, traditional komatsuna strain from Tokyo, Japan. Since it makes such a perfect spinach substitute, it’s hard to believe that Komatsuna is actually a mustard! The leaves combine the best qualities of spinach and mustard, with a mild and sweet flavor reminiscent of spinach but with the immensely powerful nutrition of a mustard! Frequently referred to as one of the “most underrated” leafy greens, Komatsuna is simply mouth watering. This leafy green is incredibly delicious, mild and tender. It holds superfood status in its native Japan, and in some studies it contained nearly twice as much calcium as whole milk per 100 grams! The leaves are also super high in beta carotene, as well as vitamins A, C and K. Komatsuna has been revered in Japanese, Taiwanese and Korean cuisine as a mouth-watering veggie for many years, and in America chefs and nutritionally minded foodies have identified it as a delicious, juicy and health-promoting green. Let the culinary experimentation begin!