Spinach , Grow It , Pick It , Eat It , Enjoy
More Spinach Growing Tips
You will find that spinach will grow the best when day time temperatures stay below 75 degrees so this makes spinach the perfect crop for spring and fall. Light frosts or even the occasional freeze won't kill your spinach. It has to get down to about 20 degrees to kill your spinach out. You'll find that you can do very well with spinach by planting it in the eight weeks leading up to the first expected frost in your area. You can even grow it year round in much of the American south. Especially if you have a cold frame or small green house to grow it in.
If you live in the deep south of the United States you can often just cover your mature spinach with straw and harvest your spinach any time of the winter you want to. Or you can grow it in a cold frame and it will do very well all through out the winter.
If you want your spinach to come up in a hurry and do well soak your spinach seeds in compost tea for 24 hours before you plant your spinach seeds. You can also prepare the soil where your spinach by making your rows for your spinach and fill the rows with compost tea before you plant your spinach seeds. You won't believe how fast your spinach will jump out of the ground.
Be sure to buy plain leaf spinach varieties or you'll end up with a lot of dirt in your spinach that you'll have a lot of trouble getting up. Dirt just seems to stick to the crinkle leaf spinach varieties and you don't want that because it is very hard to wash the dirt out of the spinach.
Spinach will grow the most at 60 - 65 degrees and at least one time while your spinach is growing feed it by pouring compost tea at the base of the spinach when the temperature is in that range. Your spinach will jump up and really grow and you'll be rewarded with more delicious spinach. Once the weather becomes very hot your not going to be able to grow spinach. But you can start back growing it in the fall when the weather cools off.
I hope you enjoy planting your spinach and if you'll follow the spinach growing tips here on this page you'll be rewarded with a delicious bountiful harvest of spinach. If you want baby spinach you'll want to harvest your spinach when the leaves are 3 - 5 inches long.
Scientists and nutritionists have now confirmed what Pop Eye knew all along. In case you don't know Spinach is really good for you. You will find mega-doses of vitamins A & K plus you'll find magnesium, folate,and iron. And there is now continuing research going on that says that the flavonoids found in spinach can help fight certain cancers. So yes Pop Eye and the people making the cartoon way back then did know a thing or two.
How To Plant Your Spinach
You should know that spinach thrives in cooler weather so you can plant your spinach seeds as early in the spring as the soil can be worked. You'll want to sow your spinach seeds about a dozen seeds to the foot and plant them about a half inch deep. After they come up you'll want to thin them to 2 - 4 inches apart when your seedlings are about 2 inches tall. Your rows of spinach should be planted at least 2 foot apart or further if you plan to till the ground between them with a garden tiller.
If you want to harvest your spinach for a long time plant a couple of rows a week for several weeks and you will be assured of a long term spinach harvest. If you want to plant your spinach in the late summer or fall chill your spinach seeds in the refrigerator in the coolest part of your refrigerator for two weeks before you plant your spinach seeds.
Keep in mind that you should ask for plain leaf varieties of spinach because the crinkle leaf varieties snag grains of dirt and its hard to wash them clean of the dirt. Plus if you want to enjoy baby spinach like I do you'll be well advised to go with the plain leaf varieties.
Spinach matures in 35 - 48 days and it really depends on the variety of spinach. Use your garden scissors and cut the spinach off at the ground. Younger spinach leafs taste better and are much more tender so pick your spinach early if you want tender baby spinach. As soon as you harvest a row of your spinach plant it again with more spinach seeds for more spinach later.
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Oyster And Spinach Chowder
If you've had oyster stew before and liked it I bet you'll just love this delicious oyster and spinach chowder. It tastes so wonderful and it's really good for you also. Make this delicious chowder when you see fresh oysters for sale in your local supermarket. You'll need a large sauce pan and a good quality vegetable cooking spray like Pam (TM) to prepare your sauce pan with before you cook your oyster and spinach chowder with.
For Your Oyster And Spinach Chowder You Will Need.
1. One Half Cup Fine Chopped Sweet Onion.
2. One Half Cup Fine Shredded Carrots.
3. Three Cups Whole Milk.
4. One Fourth Cup All Purpose Plain Flour.
5. One Eight Ounce Bottle Of Clam Juice.
6. One Pint Fresh Oysters And The Liquid They Are Packed In.
7. Two Cups Tightly Packed And Chopped Fresh Spinach Or One Package Frozen Spinach.
8. One Teaspoon Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice.
9. One Tablespoon Lemon Zest.( In case you don't know this is the grated skin from a lemon )
You want to spray your sauce pan with the vegetable cooking spray and then add your onion and carrots and gently stir on low heat until your onions and carrots are done. Now add in all the rest of your ingredients and bring almost to a boil but not quite.
If you're using fresh spinach be sure to chop your spinach up fine. If you're using frozen spinach squeeze all the extra liquid out of the frozen spinach before you add it to the sauce pan.
It's very important when your working with chowders or anything containing milk that you spray your sauce pan well with vegetable cooking spray before you cook your chowder in it. You also do not want your chowder to come to a boil. You want it to come almost to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium for a few more minutes and then to the lowest simmer to keep it warm.
I like to serve the Oyster and Spinach Chowder in bowls and I offer captains wafers and fine shredded sharp cheddar cheese alongside the bowls of chowder so people can add the crackers or cheese to their chowder if they want to.
Delicious Oyster And Spinach Casserole
This casserole is the perfect dish for the holidays or really any time of the year. I have found the best way to make this casserole so the oysters don't over cook is to make the casserole and chill it in the refrigerator for four hours before you cook it in a 350 degree pre-heated oven. By doing this your oysters won't over cook.
For Your Oyster And Spinach Casserole You Will Need.
1. One Half Stick Of Butter.
2. One Cup Finely Chopped Sweet Onion.
3. Two Tablespoons All Purpose Plain Flour.
4. One Quart Fresh Oysters Drained ( Save The Juices )
5. One Cup Whole Milk.
6. One Fourth Cup Dry White Wine.
7. Four Cups Chopped Fresh Spinach Or Two Boxes Frozen Spinach Well Drained.
8. One Teaspoon Ground Sea Salt.
9. One Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper.
10. One Cup Course Bread Crumbs.
11. Two Cups Fine Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese.
12. Fine Chopped Fresh Parsley or Basil For Garnish.
Melt the butter in a large non stick skillet and add your onions. Cook your onions until they are done and then sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir it in. Now pour your wine, milk, and the reserved oyster liquid into the pan. Cook your sauce for three to four minutes until it thickens and then add your salt and pepper and stir in. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Now put your spinach into the bottom of a 13" X 9" pan and spread it out. Arrange your oysters over the top of the spinach and now spread the sauce you made over the top of the oysters. Cover with foil or plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for four hours. At the end of four hours pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees and now take your casserole out of the refrigerator.
Now you'll want to spread your bread crumbs and then your cheese over the top of the casserole dish. Place in the 400 degree oven and cook until your casserole is bubbling and the bread crumbs are browning. Remove from the oven and allow it to set for 15 minutes before you serve. Do not over cook your casserole. The oysters will cook quickly and you don't want to over cook your oysters.
You can now serve your oyster and spinach casserole and I bet you'll think its delicious.
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Everyone Should Eat Spinach At Least Twice A Week For Their Health.
Ways To Jazz Your Spinach Up
Below you'll find all kinds of wonderful ways to jazz up spinach. And believe me some of these are really tasty. You can use most of them as a side dish or a dip or make a delicious sandwich on whole wheat toast. Having a party why not make sandwiches on toasted whole wheat bread and cut out shapes with cookie cutters.
1. Mix one cup of Alfredo Sauce with a fourth cup of dried beef in with two cups of cooked spinach and serve over toast for a quick tasty meal. This is a delicious way to eat spinach. I like it served over toasted whole grain bread sprinkled with ground cayenne pepper.
2. Mix eight ounces of cream cheese and a tablespoon of Parmesan Cheese into two cups of cooked spinach and add salt and pepper to taste. It's great as a side dish or as a dip for crackers.
3. Stir a cup of spinach into four well beaten eggs and add a fourth cup of cooked diced Italian Sausage and scramble in a non stick skillet until the eggs are done. Or you could make an omelet exactly the same way.
4. Make a delicious creamed spinach casserole by mixing two cups of cooked spinach, a can of cream of mushroom soup, four well beaten eggs and a fourth cup of cooked and crumbled bacon in a bowl and then cook it in a well greased 13" X 9" casserole dish until it is bubbling. You can even jazz it up by sprinkling the top with a handful of french fried onions. These are the ones from the snack aisle at the grocery store.
5. Mix two cups of cooked spinach with one cup of hard boiled chopped eggs and a cup of cooked crumbled bacon and serve it with grilled chicken for a delicious meal.
There are of course a lot of other wonderful things you can do with spinach. Spinach is wonderful served with almost any type of seafood or grilled chicken. I hope you'll try a few of the delicious spinach recipes on this page and post a comment below and let us all know how it turned out for you.
You can plant spinach in the very early spring or fall. Prepare your ground by tilling it up well. You should till a mixture of very well rotted manure or compost into your soil so you'll have great soil to grow your spinach in. If you prepare your soil right the spinach you plant there will grow quickly. As soon as the spinach is 3-4 inches high you can carefully harvest it with a pair of garden scissors. Cut it close to the ground and don't disturb the roots and the spinach will quickly grow out again so you can harvest it again. Be sure to wash off any dirt or compost on your spinach under cold running water. Its very important to get your spinach super clean especially if your going to be enjoying it raw. I love tender baby spinach made into tasty spinach salads.
Plant your spinach rather thick in prepared soil and cover the seeds up only about a inch deep. Water the soil where you planted the spinach and you'll see it come up rather quickly.
I like to harvest my spinach while its rather small but some people like for it to develop before they harvest it. Fresh grown spinach is one of the most delicious vegetables you can grow.
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