Have you ever tried growing spinach? If you like to eat spinach and you have the climate for it, spinach can be a beautiful addition to your edible landscaping.
Spinach comes in three categories: Smooth Leaf, Semi-savoy, and Savoy.
The main difference is in their leaves -- Savoy spinach varieties have crinkled leaves that tend to be darker green than Smooth Leaf varieties, while Semi-savoy varieties are somewhere in between.
Which kind of spinach you use depends on the look you want to achieve in your garden and the season you want to grow it in.
The only season that's not good for growing spinach is the summer, because with longer and warmer days spinach tends to bolt (produce a flower/seed stalk).
Anywhere you go online to learn about spinach, you find dozens of people complaining about how easily spinach bolts. And it does!
One problem is that spinach which has bolted is usually either tasteless or bitter.
However, after flowering, the stalks can be gathered if you want to save spinach seeds for next year.
Also, if you plant spinach in a clump and let it all bolt, the effect is rather pretty.
Even a bolting plant or two left in the garden can give height, texture and interest to your yard.
So don't be afraid of spinach bolting! Use it to make your garden better.
Use spinach as a ground cover -- this is actually the best use for it! -- or in the case of larger varieties, as a border plant in your edible landscape.
But you don't have to just plant it in rows! In fact, interspersing it with other edible plants -- especially strong-smelling ones such as garlic or onion -- helps prevent against spinach diseases and pests.
Spinach would be a good plant to use in an all-green garden, or as a part of a garden which uses bold, deep colors, such as a rainbow garden, in a "Painted Lady" neighborhood, or in any garden theme using primary colors.
Spinach also works well in herb gardens, salad gardens, and in other food theme gardens (like a pizza garden).
Since spinach sprouts so quickly, it's also a fun addition to children's gardens.
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