How to Grow New Zealand Spinach
New Zealand Spinach is not a "true" spinach. It shares many of the
characteristics of true spinach varieties. It also has some differences.
With that said, it's perfectly fine, if you refer to these salad greens as
The two big differences are:
Regular spinach is a cool weather crop. New Zealand Spinach prefers warm
Regular spinach is hardy, surviving frosts and even freezes. New Zealand
spinach is a tender annual, and is killed by frost.
It also requires a longer growing period, about 70 days to harvest, versus
just 45 to 50 days for regular spinach.
Aside from the differences above, grow New Zealand spinach just like any
other true spinach variety. You can use it in the same type of recipes,
Days to Maturity:
About 70 days.
Start plants after the last frost date in your area.
Plant seeds in rows. Sow seeds 1/2" to 1" apart. Cover very lightly,
1/2" deep, with soil. Final spacing of the plants should be 2" to 3" apart.
Water lightly and daily for three to five days. Heavy watering can wash the
seeds out of the soil or wash them too deeply into the soil. Provide 12"
How to Grow New Zealand Spinach Plants:
Grow plants in full sun. The plants like cool weather and lots of moisture
in rich, well drained soil.
Growing spinach at a fast pace, produces the most flavorful, and tender leaves.
That means plenty of water, and a healthy dose of fertilizer. Keep plants
well weeded, too.
TIP: Use succession planting, by sowing a row or partial row every
two to three weeks.
When using succession planting, as the plants age and lose their vigor, the
next crop is ready to harvest.
Temperatures - Ideal germination temperature by vegetable
Ideal Soil pH -
Insects and Pests:
A variety of insects, and some animals, including rabbits, like spinach.
Use a rabbit fence to keep critters out.
For insects, there are insecticides which can be applied, but require several
days before you can harvest eat the spinach leaves. We try to avoid insecticides
on leafy vegetables wherever possible.
Try organic sprays, and a willingness to give up some of the harvest to insects,
over using pesticides. One reason most of us have gardens, is to avoid the
potentially harmful pesticides.
Spinach plants are fairly resistant to most plant diseases.
Plant Problems - Diagnosis,
causes and cures for many common plant problems.
New Zealand Spinach is killed by frost.
Spinach and Mushroom Recipe
More of our Garden Recipes