Thursday, February 9, 2012

Planting New Seeds

Mizuna, shungiku, and New Zealand spinach

Recently I swapped some seeds with my new neighbor who's also a gardening enthusiast. I got seeds for 3 vegetables that I have never planted before - mizuna, shungiku, and New Zealand spinach. The only one I wasn't sure of is shungiku, so I looked it up on Wikipedia. It is also known as Garland chrysanthemum! Oh no!!!!! I had this before and didn't like it; however, I know my parents like it, so it will go to them. I was surprised by the size of New Zealand spinach seeds. They are a lot bigger than Bloomsdale spinach seeds, which I have planted many times. I looked up New Zealand spinach on Wikipedia, and it turned out to be a leafy ground cover that tastes like spinach.

 New Zealand spinach seeds

Spinach has always been one of my favorite vegetables, so I have no doubt that I'll like New Zealand spinach. I think I had it once. A guest at one of Master Ken's potlucks brought some leafy greens sauteed with garlic. I liked it a lot and asked her what vegetable it was. She explained it to me and told me that she picked the greens in a park near her house. She told me they were very common in the park. I was very intrigued by it; unfortunately, I haven't ran into that woman again. I believe the dish I had was sauteed New Zealand spinach. I wouldn't mind having the entire backyard covered by it.

I also planted a few kabocha, snow peas, and white Lisbon onions. I covered up all the planted seeds with bird netting because I know both birds and squirrels would come steal the seeds. The weather today in the 60's (F), so I will leave the newly planted cell packs outside. I may need to bring them into the green house if the temperature drops again.

Bird netting covering the cell packs.

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