It's a lot of work to plant a garden, so it's nice when you can plant something that keeps growing even after you start harvesting. Leafy greens are a great plant to add to your home garden. They're inexpensive to plant, fairly easy to grow and with greens in your garden, you always have a fresh vegetable on your plate. And if you want a healthy green that produces over and over, you should plant some perpetual spinach.
What is Perpetual Spinach?
Perpetual spinach, or beta vulgaris, is actually a variety of swiss chard. The dark green leaves of the plant look and taste more like true spinach, thus the name.
Perpetual spinach swiss chard is almost a year-round plant. You can plant the chard seeds directly in the ground in the late spring 2-3 weeks before the last frost, or you can start them indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost and them move them outside. You can also plant the seeds about 40 days before the first fall frost in order to harvest later in the year. While most swiss chard will bold in hot summers, perpetual spinach is less likely to do so.
Before you plant the seeds, soak them overnight in water to ensure good germination. Plant them about 1/2 inch deep in the soil with 3-6 inches of spacing between seeds. If you're transplanting seedlings, plant them about 8-10 inches apart.
It's Actually A Swiss Chard
Perpetual spinach swiss chard loves both full sun and partial sun. The soil should be moist but well-drained. One of the great things about perpetual spinach is that it's perfect for a container garden, so if you only have a balcony or small patio, you can still grow these plants.
The plants take about 50 days to grow to maturity from seeds. Harvest individual leaves from the outer part of the plant. Wash the tender leaves in cool water, dry, and then store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Taking the older leaves off the plant will encourage new leaves to grow.
In the United States, perpetual spinach is easy to grow in Hardiness Zones 3 through 10.