Welcome to my website. This website handles the overflow from 'Growing Organic Vegetables'. Both sites help you grow fabulous organic vegetables in a warm temperate climate using water saving methods. Both link to "Gardening with Ecobeds" providing detailed instructions on how to build your own sustainable Garden Ecobed and explaining how to get excellent results............John Ashworth 27th July 2015.
Growing English Spinach
Latest Update 16th July 2016.
English spinach is a cut and come again vegetable. Similar to silverbeet but much more compact and slower growing.
Despite its high nutrient value, like most organic gardeners in my climate zone, I prefer to grow silverbeet because its more productive, less likely to run to seed in warm weather and we prefer the taste.
Some gardeners may prefer to grow spinach because of its compactness and because the taste may be to their liking.
Both spinach and silverbeet have excellent nutritional value but spinach has an edge in some areas.
They both have a low calorific value which helps control weight.
Spinach has just about double the fibre content and is very high in Beta Carotene, which is a strong anti-oxidant and helps to protect against eye damage when exposed to the sun. It also protects against heart disease and cancer.
Spinach is significantly lower in sodium. Important in a low salt diet.
They are both excellent sources of folate, which experts say(1) helps prevent heart disease, cancer, neural tube defects in infants and degenerative nervous system diseases in adults such as Parkinson and Alzheimer. It also helps to strengthen the immune system.
Spinach and silver beet are both high in iron and many vegetarians depend on vegetables like these to maintain iron levels in their diet.
Spinach should be protected against slugs and snails using self adhesive copper
tape bonded around the base of your Ecobeds.
these molluscs get into your Ecobed as eggs laid in your compost, kill
them with organically acceptable iron based snail pellets as soon as you
discover them. You should only need to use a small number of pellets.
The best deterrent for caterpillars is exclusion netting.
If the butterfies get past your defences, spray the crop thoroughly with Bacillus thuringiensis (Dipel in Australia) This
natural soil dwelling bacterium once ingested by the caterpillars produces toxins which paralyses the caterpillar's digestive system causing it to stop feeding.
It dies within a few days.
A 4 year crop rotation
plan is the best cure for root knot nematode. They do not prosper when
their host plant is removed to another bed, and after 4 years, their
effectiveness as a plant pathogen is substantially reduced.
applications of aerated compost tea boost the natural defences of
plants by colonising the leaf surfaces with beneficial microbes.
They defend the plant against airborne pests and diseases.
proper soil preparation including regular applications of home made
compost boosts the community of beneficial
microbes, which defend the plants roots against plant pathogens.
Exclusion netting stops birds digging up worms in your Ecobed.