Thursday, May 19, 2011

Harvesting Spinach

I saved some pathetic looking spinach seedlings from the greenhouse on Merritt College campus in January this year. There were 18 seedlings packed into a 6-cell pack. They were going to the compost pile, but I decided to take the time to separate them into 3 6-cell packs. They sat on my outdoor propagation table for about 3 months before I transplanted them in one of my vegetable beds at the end of March. They would have grown faster if I kept them inside but then I might forget to water them. I left them on the propagation table so they could get misted everyday.

For a while I thought I was losing all of them to the pill bugs. I asked Master Ken what I could do to get rid of the pill bugs safely. I don't ever want to use pesticide on anything I grow. He told me to spray my soil where the bugs are with diluted soapy water. We are talking about 2 drops of dish detergent in 1 quart of water. This is similar to another friend's recipe on getting rid of aphids.

I sprayed the spinach bed with the solution, and within days I saw a significant improvement. In one particular corner, the spinach started to flourish. Every year I try to grow spinach because it is my favorite green leafy vegetable. They aren't as big as super market bunches, but I get to pick them right in my own yard, and I know they can never be contaminated with e-coli. I am going to sauté this whole basket of spinach with a little olive oil and garlic and grill a piece of hamachi fillet for dinner .

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