Growing Malabar Spinach
Malabar Spinach is scientifically known as Basella alba and belongs to the Basellaceae family. It is available in – Green and Red varieties. The stem of the Basella alba is green and the stem of the cultivar Basella alba ‘Rubra’ is reddish-purple; the leaves of both the species are green.
Malabar Spinach is very healthy because it provides a lot of proteins for a number of calories you consume. It is an excellent vegetable for health enthusiasts, as it’s a great vegetarian protein option. It is also high in Vitamin A & C, high in iron and calcium and low in calories by volume.
This spinach variety is different from other spinach types because it’s perennial spinach. It keeps growing as long as you look after it. The plant’s lifecycle pans throughout the year. Malabar Spinach is easy to grow, healthy and delicious spinach variety that can be savored both raw or cooked. Buy malabar spinach seeds online and start growing them indoors.
How to grow Malabar Spinach:
Malabar Spinach can be grown as an annual as well as perennial in a warmer climate. You can start your Malabar Spinach by seeds, any time of the year. It is a vining spinach, so it needs some support to grow. It can be grown in a big sized pot or on a permanent raised bed. It will grow to about 5 to 6 ft easily. Plants can grow quite dense & they will continue to grow this way. The plant needs regular moderate watering & well-drained soil. It can flourish in ready to use potting mixtures like Gardenia Organic veggie mix.
Climate for Malabar Spinach:
Malabar Spinach is a summer loving spinach as it’s a warm weather crop; in fact, it is one of the best leafy vegetables for summer; unlike conventional spinach varieties that grow better in the cooler season.
Sunlight for Malabar Spinach:
Malabar Spinach needs at least 4 to 6 hours of sun each day. The plant can grow very well in full sunlight.
Fertilizers for Malabar Spinach:
Watch out for slugs and snails that like to consume Malabar Spinach leaves at night. You will have to remove them physically from your garden. Know about different types of pests that can attack your plants.
Harvesting Malabar Spinach:
You can start harvesting leaves from your Malabar Spinach plant quite early in the growing season as and when you need them. You can also harvest by trimming down the vine and use all the leaves that are growing along with it. That way you can keep plant down to sizable proportions as well.
The leaves are larger and fleshy compared to regular spinach. When eaten raw it has a little pepper-like taste unlike spinach, but if you cook them, they taste like regular spinach. Buy spinach seeds online in India.
After about 100 days at the end of growing season, the white flowers of Malabar Spinach will turn into small berries. The black seeds will fall and produce even more plants. You can harvest seeds, dry them and plant them in next season.
Read more about growing regular spinach in containers.