Few people know how to grow spinach, how to cook it tasty, how useful it is. Spinach culture is popular in many countries. In Western Europe, even produce harvesters for its cleaning. In Japan, with an acute shortage of acreage for spinach, they allocate up to 24 thousand hectares, that is, 2-2.5 square meters each.m per person. And in our Krasnodar Territory, judging by the number of seeds sold, its crops do not exceed 2-3 hectares per 5 million inhabitants of the Kuban, that is, 0.02-0.03 square meters.m per person. Most likely, this is from ignorance.
Dietitians, nutritionists believe that it should be consumed at least 3-4 kg per year, which is used not only as a salad, but also as a medicinal plant.
Spinach Garden - an annual plant. They eat fleshy leaves, sometimes they are corrugated, ovoid, rounded or swept. This is a dioecious plant, and the female individuals are more leafy, vegetating longer than the male ones. By the amount of protein contained, spinach is second only to legumes( peas, beans).Its leaves contain sugars, vitamins C( 65-75 mg%), groups B, P, PP, K, E, A, various organic acids, salts of potassium, calcium, sodium, iron, copper, phosphorus, and other useful substances.
According to the content of iron salts, spinach is one of the first places among vegetable crops, and the structural formula of chlorophyll of this plant is similar in chemical composition to human hemoglobin. In addition, vitamins, especially ascorbic acid( vitamin C), and carotene( provitamin A), are heat-resistant, while cooking or canning are almost not destroyed.
Spinach leaves contain substances that remove harmful substances from the body, such as toxins, heavy metals, cholesterol. The French call it the "broom of the stomach", as it positively affects the activity of the digestive glands, forcing them to work more intensively. In addition, spinach, due to the content of saponins, increases stomach peristalsis.
This is a cold-resistant plant. And in dry, hot weather, having formed 4-6 small leaflets, they begin to shoot out, becoming unfit for human consumption. Therefore, it is not worth practicing the late spring crops of spinach here in the Krasnodar Territory.
In conditions of a short day, when sowing is carried out in early spring( “February windows”) or in autumn( September) in conditions of a short day, the light stage of development passes slowly, the duration of the vegetative phase increases. As a result, a powerful rosette of 10-12 large leaves is formed, which leads to an increase in yield up to 3.5-4 kg from 1 square meter.m.
Spinach seeds, although slowly, can germinate at a temperature of + 3-4 ° C.But the optimum temperature for germination, for its growth and development is 15-18 ° C.In the phase of the rosette of 4-6 leaves, it easily tolerates frosts down to -17 ° C, and even lower under the snow. For example, in the winter of 2002/2003, the temperature at night in December-January on some days dropped to 18-20 ° C below zero, and without snow. At this temperature, they remained to grow, 53-56% of the plants that gave an early harvest survived.
Agronomist specialists studied several dates for sowing spinach: late summer( second to third decade of August) and autumn( three terms in September and first to second decade of October).Observations on growth and development have shown that sowing in August and in the first or second decade of September makes it possible to obtain a crop of spinach leaves in October-November of 3.5-3.7 kg from 1 square meter.m.
In some years, with a warm autumn, spinach yielded a crop even in December, if you set up arcs of 6-8 mm wire for sowing, cover them with plastic wrap. The crops of the second or third decade of September, sometimes the first decade of October, endured winter in the conditions of the central zone of the Krasnodar Territory, since the winter temperature did not fall below 10–12 ° C in the winter. The crop of spinach leaves from sowing in mid-September was ready for harvesting in the first decade of March. Each subsequent sowing period gave a harvest of 5-7 days later than the previous one. The early spring sowing period in February-March gave a harvest in the first or second decade of May. The yield from the early spring sowing period was 1.3-1.7 kg per square meter.m.
Thus, for conveyor production of spinach in Kuban in late autumn or early spring, it is necessary to carry out stepwise sowing from mid-August to mid-October with an interval of 10-15 days.