Silverbeet 'Perpetual Spinach'
Scientific Name: Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris
Common Name: Silverbeet 'Perpetual Spinach', Perpetual Chard
Perpetual Spinach is a traditional, open-pollinated silverbeet variety likely originating from England. It was listed in seed catalogs for sale from the 1800's onwards but was commonly grown by English gardeners before this time.
The flavour of perpetual spinach is closer to the taste of true English spinach than other varieties of silverbeet. Young leaves are delicious raw in salads and sandwiches. Older leaves can be steamed and eaten as a leafy green vegetable or used as an alternative for true spinach in any dish that calls for it.
Perpetual Spinach is a heavy feeder so growing beds should have a decent amount of compost, organic fertiliser, worm castings or well-rotted manures dug through them prior to planting. Mulch well around Perpetual Spinach plants with sugar cane mulch to reduce competition from weeds and keep their root system cool and moist. Each perpetual spinach seed is actually a dried cluster containing multiple individual seeds, you will need to thin plants to the strongest seedling per cluster if more than one seed germinates. Choose a growing site in a full sun or lightly shaded location. Water Perpetual Spinach regularly as plants will suffer if the soil is allowed to fully dry out.
When To Sow:
Sow Perpetual Spinach any time of the year in subtropical and tropical regions of Australia. In temperate regions of Australia sow Perpetual Spinach seeds from September to May.
How To Sow:
Sow Perpetual Spinach seeds 2cm deep spacing plants about 30cm apart to allow room to grow.
Perpetual Spinach seeds take between 8 and 10 days to germinate once planted.
Time To Harvest:
Perpetual Spinach leaves can be harvested as soon as they are large enough to pick. Perpetual Spinach will start to produce good quantities of leaves 7 to 8 weeks after sowing. Harvest leaves young for best flavour, leaves that are left for too long on the plant before harvesting can become tough and bitter.