Every season I try at least one new vegetable, and this spring it will be Malabar spinach. I found it at my favorite organic nursery this morning and was attracted by its big leaves.
I have grown baby spinach a few times but never produced enough to satisfy my needs. I love spinach salad, spinach in eggs, creamed spinach, you name it. Just looking at it, I knew this variety had the potential to keep me in spinach heaven.
The gardener at South Seminole Nursery told me this plant does best when trained to grow on a trellis or poles. I bought two 5-inch plants and returned home to do more research on the Malabar before planting. It has been raining all day, so I am biding time.
What I learned from university websites is that Malabar thrives in hot, sunny weather and tolerates wet conditions. It loves 90 degrees! That sounds perfect for Florida, especially since we already experienced mid-80s in February. Malabar spinach is a native of tropical Asia, most likely India or Indonesia.
I’m going to make a goalpost-shaped trellis for my two plants once the raised bed dries out. I have some bamboo stakes and twine that may do the trick. The nursery gardener told me to harvest the leaves from the bottom of the plant and let the top keep growing upward. More pictures to come.
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