First Spinach Harvest

– Posted in: Recipes, Vegetables

huge bowl of bordeaux spinach

Bordeaux spinach from Botanical Interests

My husband harvested the first of our spinach crop yesterday, and he says there’s this much or more left to be harvested. He wants to do that this evening, because it is threatening to bolt in this heat.

We had a yummy spinach salad, and gave away the rest of this bowlful to two neighbors. I probably would not have done that if I didn’t know more was coming soon.

This seed was sown April 4th. That means it took 51 days from planting to harvest. And he probably could have harvested it sooner. If we weren’t having this heat wave, we wouldn’t need to be in such a hurry to harvest it. I think. On the other hand, it seems we are always complaining about how fast the spinach bolts. Margaret Roach sows her spinach the year before to avoid this problem. I remember reading that in her book and being astounded by the picture. I am not sure that would work here; our clay soil tends to induce rot. And we never seem to know the fall before where we want to plant everything for the following spring. But we will never know if it works for us until we try it. Experimentation is what makes you a more experienced gardener.

Purdyville Spinach Salad

24 cups washed, spun-dry, coarsely chopped (or torn) spinach
2 pounds thick-sliced bacon–fried, drained and crumbled
6 ounces mushrooms–sliced
12 hard boiled eggs–peeled or chopped

Wash spinach, spin dry, place in refrigerator to chill. Fry bacon until a combination of chewy and crunchy is achieved (about 10 minutes of medium-slow cooking). While bacon is cooking, clean mushrooms and thinly slice. Drain bacon on paper toweling and then crumble. Chop spinach into coarse pieces and toss spinach, bacon and mushrooms together. Top with chopped egg and serve with a sprinkle of paprika if you’re feeling fancy. Makes enough to serve 12.

That’s the basic idea, and each person adds the dressing of their choice. But last night was short notice for spinach salad, so I used only one pound of bacon and skipped the mushrooms (not sure who likes them besides me, anyway) and I threw in some sliced green onions because I needed to use them up.

How’s your spinach crop coming? And what’s your favorite way to eat it?

‘Bordeaux’ spinach seed provided by Botanical Interests

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

In the end, this may be the most important thing about frost: Frost slows us down. In spring, it tempers our eagerness. In fall, it brings closure and rest. In our gotta-go world–where every nanosecond seems to count–slowness can be a great gift. So rather than see Jack Frost as an adversary, you could choose to greet him as a friend.

~Philip Harnden in A Gardener’s Guide to Frost: Outwit the Weather and Extend the Spring and Fall Seasons

Comments on this entry are closed.

Bret January 19, 2012, 4:13 pm

I have not grown that type of spinach yet. It seem interesting enough to do it! I am a High Density Bucket Gardener, which means that I grow things close together. Maybe that will help with the heat??

A.R.Wadoo July 23, 2010, 10:08 pm

Spinch cooked with lamb breasts is the best spinach dish, I like it. Your article was the cause of making this preparation thaks. It is said that those suffering from UTI should avoid sinach eating for high level of oxilated in spinach family

I would love to know all about seeet Basil culinary details if you can

how to garden better July 23, 2010, 12:54 pm

Looks healthy for the tummy… makes you strong and healthy!
.-= how to garden better´s last blog ..Retro Vintage Teapots – Kitchen and Living Room – Retro Home Decor for Literature Ladies =-.

A.R.Wadoo July 2, 2010, 1:35 am

Spinach is sown in September and gets ready for harvest before November. If we have a bumper crop and save even after sharing with the neighbours, we do not throw it. We clean it wash it thoroughly and allow it to dry under shade, when the spinach is half dried it is rubbed in handful amounts till juices come out of the half dry spinach. Then it becomes dark green and when dry looks good .store it in cheese cloth. To recover the veggie, just put it in warm water for some time cut it or process in a food processor and fry with mutton. Add spices of your liking

Window On The Prairie June 14, 2010, 2:35 pm

Our broccoli and lettuce bolted last week, and I have since pulled it. Was sad to do it.
.-= Window On The Prairie´s last blog ..Early Summer Flower Garden =-.

SwimRay June 13, 2010, 10:45 pm

Oh, forgot my favorite spinach way … ‘Strawberry & Spinach Salad’, with a sweet dressing and toasted almonds.
.-= SwimRay´s last blog ..Unlicensed Propagation Prohibited! =-.

SwimRay June 13, 2010, 10:42 pm

I got one meager harvest of spinach this year in Virginia. After a boatload of 90 degree temperatures already this year, the broccoli, dill, and lettuce have joined the spinach on the compost pile. Sigh… climate change is alive and well this year.
.-= SwimRay´s last blog ..Unlicensed Propagation Prohibited! =-.

Donalyn June 8, 2010, 10:40 pm

We didn’t get the spinach panted in time – we will wait and do a fall crop probably. We have had several meals of beet greens though, and the spring kale is ready to eat in the next day or two. Love your spinach salad!
.-= Donalyn´s last blog ..Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies =-.

commonweeder June 7, 2010, 9:29 am

I love those red stems. We have been eating our spinach for a couple of weeks – and still going strong. I made a spinach salad with fresh winecap mushrooms that a neighbor grew. Fantastic. We are harvesting lettuce too!
.-= commonweeder´s last blog ..Growth – High and Low =-.

Betsi Stewart June 6, 2010, 11:53 am

I love the red stems of your salad greens, do you remember the seed name? I’m on Cape Cod, and have been having great luck this year with the spinach. I’m pinching the outer leaves every 2 or 3 days, keeping the soil well stirred around the plants to help with the weeds, improve moisture, and decrease heat. I’ve also planted New Zeland Spinach along side as this doesn’t bolt, and will keep me in similar greens all summer. I’ve got a few cabbages and tomato plants dispersed throughout the row, hoping that as they grow, they will shade and maybe prolong my harvest. Isn’t intoxicating to be eating greens out of the garden again?! Do you think you’ll try a second spinach planting this fall?

Kate June 4, 2010, 3:27 pm

Wow, what a gorgeous spinach harvet! Down here in Dutchess County, NY, my spinach is just starting to bolt. I always feel a bit of sadness when I know my cool season vegetables are almost done, but that just means that it’s time for the heat lovers like eggplant and peppers to come out! Maybe I’ll try a little fall sowing this year, never have before.

Jen Reardon June 4, 2010, 9:24 am

Lucky you! I have had a terrible time getting greens going this spring!

Kathy Purdy June 4, 2010, 9:52 am

It was crazy weather, that’s for sure.

Lynn May 31, 2010, 11:39 pm

Beautiful! We had a few plants that overwintered from late fall plantings, and those are bolting. I seeded very late, so not sure we’ll get some unless I can be creative with some semi-shade. Miss having fresh spinach around.
.-= Lynn´s last blog ..secret swimming hole =-.

Growing vegetables May 31, 2010, 8:06 am

Hi, That’s very nice to know that you have harvested spinach without any complication. They were looking very healthy and Yummy. Did any kind of pest bother your spinach plot?

Kathy Purdy May 31, 2010, 10:46 am

We didn’t notice any pests.

Anja May 30, 2010, 2:11 pm

This spinach looks very interesting. Must try that.
Love my spinach just wilted with olive oil, garlic and some blue cheese tossed over pasta.
.-= Anja´s last blog ..May 19, Vegetables =-.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter May 28, 2010, 9:19 am

I forgot to sow mine. Too late now. Yours looks so good.

Donica May 27, 2010, 10:11 pm

Are you still fighting mallows?

Kathy Purdy May 27, 2010, 10:22 pm

I still have to weed some out but not like I once did. Other plants are filling in to the extent that the mallow seedlings get shaded out. Thanks for asking. You must be a long time reader

Donica May 27, 2010, 10:32 pm

And a mallow lover. 🙂 I have a bed in front of my porch that I’m trying to fill with mallows and hollyhocks. I can’t get anything to grow there and so I am turning to pretty invasives. 🙂

I stand corrected – I CAN get those yellow mustard weeds to grow there. A LOT. 😀

Donica May 27, 2010, 10:34 pm

And a patch on one side of my house that has been killed with old roofing that I am trying to make look decent with Bishop’s Weed. 🙂

Really, anything that isn’t knotweed or mustard has become a quick friend of mine. 😀

Kathy Purdy May 27, 2010, 10:41 pm

Oh, I still like mallows. Just the pink Malva alcea got out of hand.

Meghan May 27, 2010, 1:58 pm

That spinach looks beautiful! I’m not sure I’m going to get a crop at all this year – my early crop got too dry (I think) – it never really wanted to grow, and once it finally started it just disappeared. Could have been critters, too… I wasn’t keeping a close enough watch.

My second crop came up, but those 90-degree days this week were hard on it, the bed it was in is one of the more exposed in the garden (I wasn’t expecting merciless sun and 90 degrees in May!)

Maybe next year… fortunately, I have lots of other veggies to keep me happy; the lettuce and the radishes have been wonderful (although the daikons started bolting yesterday), and I’ll probably manage to harvest enough spinach for a small bowl, anyway – a taste of possibilities (or something like that!)

Ilona May 27, 2010, 3:24 am

That is luscious looking spinach 🙂 I don’t do well with autumn crops either, but I have guessed that it might be a matter of attention to watering. At that time I leave things to fend for themselves…which is never good for new seedlings!
.-= Ilona´s last blog ..Make a Fairy Garden -Inspiration =-.

Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings May 26, 2010, 8:25 pm

I just harvested mine, and it bolted the next day. Wasn’t that Bordeaux mix pretty? It tasted good too. I think I could do the overwintering thing. Will think on that this fall.

David C Becker May 26, 2010, 8:15 pm

This was a good year for spinach in my garden, much better than in past years. I do get a crop most springs, but don’t have much luck in the fall. When I should plant it in fall it always is to hot for good germination, then when I get it started it doesn’t have enough time to mature. My favorite way to eat spinach is on a sandwich in place of lettuce. Happy growing, and eating.