Enjoy tasty, succulent, spinach-like leaves all summer, after regular spinach varieties have all bolted. This oddball's closest relatives in the family Aizoacea include some of the most familiar succulent houseplants. It is grown as an annual in most locations, but may overwinter in Zone 8 and up. Continue reading below for some of our best tips on how to grow New Zealand spinach.
Season & Zone
Season: Warm season
Exposure: Full sun
Direct sow once soil has warmed up in mid- to late spring. Soaking the seeds for 12 hours prior to sowing tends to speed up germination. The seeds can also be started indoors before the last average frost date, but wait until the soil really warms up outdoors before transplanting. Optimal soil temperature for germination: 15-24°C (60-75°F).
Sow seeds 1cm (1/2″) deep, and 5-10cm (2-4") apart. Thin to 30-45cm (12-18″) apart in rows 60-90cm (24-36") apart.
Days to Maturity: From direct sowing.
Ideal pH: 6.8-7.0. This crop performs well in containers. Place 2 plants in each minimum 5 gallon container. Try growing in small hills like squash plants, with one plant per hill. Grow in full sun in moisture-retentive, freely draining soil. Add several scoops of well-rotted compost or manure beneath each plant.
One or two plants per household member should supply ample summer harvest greens. Pick immature leaves as needed.
In optimal conditions at least 50% of seeds will germinate. Usual seed life: 3 years. Be sure to plant the large seeds into warm soil.