In recent years, unusual plants have been increasingly found in our gardens. and if some of them need sophisticated agricultural technology, then such, for example, as strawberry spinach - it is not difficult to grow from seeds, but the resulting crop will be of great benefit.
Strawberry Sticks is a plant whose botanical homeland is considered to be the northern part of Africa, southern Europe and the Mediterranean countries. For us, this vegetable is still quite exotic and undeservedly unrecognized. And completely in vain. He has a lot of advantages that call for mastering his cultivation in our gardens and summer cottages.
- unpretentiousness to planting conditions;
- rapid development and early maturity of culture;
- decorative appearance and compact size;
- unique benefits as a food product.
Regular consumption of fresh herbs normalizes the nervous system and the functioning of the digestive tract
The leaves contain proteins, fatty acids, a complex of vitamins (C1, B1, B2, E, A, P, etc.), necessary micro- and macroelements, including iron, by the presence of which it is ahead of most of the cultures we know. Fresh salads are prepared from the leaves and young twigs, they are heat-treated for the preparation of soups, sauces, meat and vegetable dishes. I harvest greens for future use - salt, pickle, sushakh.
Strawberry spinach is recommended to be included in the daily diet in the treatment of diseases such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, avitominosis, radiation sickness and even malignant tumors. Regular consumption of fresh herbs normalizes the nervous system and the digestive tract.
In addition to the leaves, it also has edible berries. This fruit is 1.5-2 cm red raspberries, ripening along the stem in the leaf axils. This appearance of the berries gave the plant a different name - spinach-raspberry. Fruits begin to set 50 days after germination. They ripen gradually, filling and increasing in size, they can bend the stem, so the plant needs support. As for the taste, such raspberries are more reminiscent of mulberries, that is, they have neither aroma, nor any characteristic taste qualities. Therefore, they are more often used as food coloring or to decorate fresh salads, desserts and ready-made meals.
Video about spinach and its berries
Strawberry spinach can grow on almost any garden land, but prefers light, sandy loam, quite fertile. Penumbra is not scary to him, but if there is an opportunity to plant a ray in sunny areas. Watering is needed, especially in dry summer, the quality of the future harvest depends on their regularity. A fast-growing culture does not need additional feeding and is rarely disturbed by pests and diseases. As you can see, the plant is very unpretentious, so we start sowing.
Sowing dates and rates
The cultivation of this greenery can be done in several ways: by sowing in a greenhouse, in open ground and through seedlings. Let's consider the advantages and difficulties of each of them.
- Seedling method
Differs in laboriousness, but allows you to get early greens, and by the beginning of summer and ripe berries. For seedlings, seeds are sown in mid-March - early April, depending on the climatic conditions of a particular region. A sowing capacity is chosen with a depth of 7-10 cm. A wooden box, cassettes for seedlings are suitable, but growing rosettes in separate peat or paper cups is better - this way the transplanting process is painless and the roots are less damaged. After the emergence of seedlings, the container is transferred to the windowsill, where the temperature regime is not higher than 15 ° C, regular watering, spraying, and so is grown before planting.
In April, when the ground in the garden warms up a little and a positive average daily temperature is established, the seedlings can be planted in the beds.
- Outdoor cultivation
Strawberry spinach grows quickly and is easy to tolerate in small frosts
Strawberry spinach grows quickly and easily tolerates small frosts down to -8 ° C, so many people prefer to sow it directly on the beds. It is convenient to sow in a wide-row method, with row spacing from 40 cm. In this case, the number of rows can be any from 2 to 5 - as it will be convenient to care for during watering and weeding. In some cases, when strawberry greens are grown for sale or for harvesting for the winter, solid sowing is practiced. At the same time, they adhere to seeding rates of 3-4 grams of seeds per 1 square meter of soil. Sowing depth: no more than 2 cm on heavy soils and about 3-4 on sandy ones, and after planting the seeds, it is recommended to slightly compact the soil so that it would be easier for delicate sprouts to root.
After the appearance of 2-3 true leaves, it is recommended to thin out the seedlings so that the rosettes develop more freely. Plugged plants can be planted on neighboring beds, and if done carefully, most of them will take root and will also give a good harvest.
It should also be said that due to its frost resistance, this vegetable is often sown before winter, usually in the second half of October. The ascended green sockets will be covered with snow, and in the spring, when everything melts, the spring sun will awaken them to life and by the beginning of May you will have the first young greenery.
- Growing in a greenhouse or film greenhouses
Many gardeners sow strawberry spinach as a compactor, because it perfectly coexists with most garden crops. And while tomatoes, eggplants or sweet peppers are growing in greenhouses, greens can take up free space. It is also sown in greenhouses between rows of spring greens - radishes, onions on a feather, early lettuce or dill. These vegetables also ripen quickly and make good ingredients for the first fresh salads.
Early ripening strawberry spinach is grown in areas that are empty in anticipation of planting seedlings of thermophilic vegetables. It also grows well in combined beds, in the aisles of beets, potatoes or carrots. When the berries ripen, a compact, not taking up much space bush becomes very decorative, therefore, a section of the flower bed between undersized flowers can be allocated for it. The cultivation of such a culture is also possible on the balconies, where they will give not only aesthetic pleasure, but also add variety to the diet.
Planting and leaving video
You can save on buying seeds and stock up on proven seed material by preparing it yourself. In the plantings, the strongest plant with large, fully ripe fruits is chosen. Each raspberry fruit is gently kneaded with your fingers on a cloth or paper, the seeds are freed from the pulp and dried in a dark place. Good quality seeds are dark brown in color, and after drying they turn almost black. Store the seed in a paper bag in a cool dry place.
Strawberry spinach tends to multiply by self-sowing, when overripe berries fall into the soil and the seeds sprout next spring. Such sockets can be transplanted to a permanent place or simply weed out as unnecessary. In the future, in order to avoid such "unauthorized" crops, you should not allow ripening of berries and seeds.
5 types of greenery that are easy to grow on a windowsill
Homemade mini-vegetable gardens on the windowsills are now very popular. We talked about the most important rules that allow you to grow almost any vegetables in such conditions in the article 10 secrets of a home garden.
Home garden. Photo by the author
This time I propose to discuss the best crops for home "beds" - those that do not require special care, but at the same time they invariably delight with the harvest in the shortest possible time. I present my list and look forward to your comments.
Why spinach is so good
Spinach gained its popularity among summer residents of Russia relatively recently. This vegetable is loved for its beneficial properties and ease of growing. If you include the delicate leaves of the plant in the menu, you will be able to provide the body with important elements. It is added to salads, mashed potatoes and sauces are made from it. The vegetable can also be harvested for the winter, canned or frozen.
Spinach is a storehouse of vitamins of group B, P, potassium, copper, iodine, iron, phosphorus, manganese. It is rich in oxalic, ascorbic, linolenic and oleic acids. Almost all of these substances do not lose their value even during heat treatment.
Spinach is recommended for people who suffer from diseases of the heart, gastrointestinal tract, kidneys and liver. It is useful for anemia, hypertension, edema, nervous disorders.
In addition to the beneficial composition, spinach has other benefits. These include short growing times, resistance to subzero temperatures. The plant is easy to care for and can be grown at home.
Dates of planting silvery cineraria for seedlings
It is best to plant the crop in March and April. However, depending on the region, the sowing time will also change:
- In the Central lane (Moscow region) - March 15-30.
- In Siberia and the Leningrad region, as well as in the Urals - in early - mid-April.
- In the southern regions - in early March.
You can also refer to the lunar calendar. In 2019, it is recommended to sow cineraria:
- March - 12-17, 19, 20.
- April - 6-8, 11-13, 15-17.
Unfavorable days for planting:
- March - 6, 7, 21.
- April —5, 19.
Growing strawberry spinach
Before sowing spinach, the seeds are soaked for 30 minutes in a solution of light pink potassium permanganate. You can sow seeds in open ground as soon as the ground thaws. Spinach is frost-resistant, it is not afraid of spring temperature drops.
Spinach seeds are sown according to the 40x40 cm scheme. It is better to put several seeds into each hole 0.5 cm deep for safety reasons. After watering, the soil must be mulched with humus.
When seedlings appear and the seedlings grow the first 2 true leaves, the plants need to be thinned out. Only one plant should remain in each hole. Care spinach is the same as for beets: watering, weeding as needed, loosening the soil. When the cotyledons appear, spinach should be fed with ammonium nitrate solution. Top dressing is carried out at the rate of 20-30 g per square meter.
Plants grow and develop quickly enough, forming rosettes of leaves of light green color. Spinach leaves have a spear-toothed shape. They have rather long petioles. After the leaves grow, a stem appears on which about 10 lateral shoots are formed. Each shoot gives 4-5 more shoots. The result is a small bush that grows up to 80 cm in height.
In the axils of each leaf, infructescence appears. They consist of 2 parts and have a rounded shape. Spinach berries grow about 2 cm in diameter. At first, the berries are orange-red in color. As they ripen, the color changes to a rich crimson. The orange-red color remains only in the places where the berries attach to the stems.
At the time of fruit formation, strawberry spinach is especially decorative. Under the weight of the berries, the branches can bend down strongly. In this case, it is better to tie them up so that the berries do not lie on the ground. Spinach fruit has an amazing blackberry-raspberry flavor. They ripen gradually. The first to ripen are berries on the bottom of the shoots. At the same time, ripe fruits do not crumble for a long time, but remain on the bush. You can harvest in several approaches. It is also worth noting that when sowing with seeds, the first berries can be harvested in just a month and a half. If you grow spinach through seedlings, then you can harvest several crops per season. From the berries, an incredibly tasty and aromatic jam is obtained, resembling strawberry jam in appearance.
Features of growing from seeds
It is possible to sow jminda from early spring to mid-summer, and also leave it "before winter". The culture grows very quickly, the crop is harvested as early as 15 days after germination. Herbaceous bushes tolerate frosts well down to -10 degrees, but if the weather forecast promises a cold snap for more than a couple of days, then the plants must be protected. You can cover them with glass jars or plastic bottles.
Strawberry spinach has an unpretentious character, so there is no need to grow seedlings first. You can sow seeds directly into the open ground, but in the northern regions it is better to play it safe and use a greenhouse. The preliminary receipt of seedlings makes sense if the gardener begins work at the summer cottage only in the middle of spring. Already grown seedlings will reach maturity and yield faster.
Harvesting seeds yourself
Strawberry spinach reproduces by self-sowing, if it has already appeared on the site, it will grow and spread like any weed. But after a generation, it already loses its taste properties and can only be used as an ornamental culture. Therefore, it makes sense to renew the planting annually. For this, you can use purchased or your own seed.
You should cut off several of the largest testes, knead them with your hands, pour the resulting mass with water and place it in a warm place. The fermented substance is rubbed through a sieve until the seeds separate, which are laid out on paper, dried and poured into a paper bag for storage. The seed should be placed in a cool place or on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator.
Immediately before planting, the seeds must be "awakened" to increase germination and increase the viability of future plants. For this, the seed is soaked in an aqueous solution of potassium permanganate (1%), where it is worth adding specialized growth stimulants. You should take a piece of thin cloth or gauze (bandage), wet it in the prepared liquid, spread the seeds on the surface, cover with a second piece on top. Roll the resulting "sandwich" and put it in a plastic bag overnight. In the morning, the seed is dried and used for planting.
- Marina, 32 years old: “I really love spinach. It is not only tasty, but also healthy. Since I live in an apartment, I have no opportunity to grow a culture. But once, having been on a visit, I saw that matador spinach can be grown even in indoor conditions. I also decided to take up this business. I bought containers, laid drainage, soil and seeds. Within two weeks I had green leaves on my balcony. Taking care of this plant is no more difficult than taking care of flowers. I use a stick to loosen the soil and water it regularly. Thus, I always have fresh greens in my house, no matter what the weather is outside the window. "
- Svetlana, 41 years old: “I have been growing spinach for several years now. I have a small summer cottage. The vegetable garden there is not particularly fertilized, and even small in size. But then I could grow my favorite greens there. I chose the matador variety for planting. I really like him, as he is not afraid of cold and other bad weather conditions. I plant it in early spring and after 3 weeks I can delight my loved ones with fresh greens. And all this is achieved with minimal maintenance. And what surprised me more was the high yield even on unfertilized soil. "
- Elizabeth, 26 years old: “I really love spinach, as I am on a diet and use it in cooking and salads. I grow it right on the balcony. I took an ordinary box, put the stones so that the water does not stagnate, then the ground. I bought it in the store, and only then planted the seeds.On the 13th day, sprouts appeared. Then I watered them and loosened the soil. But in winter you have to turn on the bulbs to extend the daylight hours. Observing these simple rules, I can feast on fresh herbs throughout the year. "
Spinach matador is a unique variety that allows you to get a good harvest even with minimal maintenance. Since the matador belongs to cold-resistant crops, it can be planted outdoors even in autumn. But the uniqueness of the variety is not only in this, but in the fact that the leaves of the plant contain many vitamins and useful components that the body needs so much for full work.