Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Leave the spinach be

Like millions of people my age, I remember the magical boost that spinach gave Popeye. Although we've since learned that it's not quite the powerhouse that the illustrators would have us believe, it's still extremely good for us and is something I regularly add to our everyday meals. 
It's such an easy thing to stir into almost anything you cook / prepare (we love the baby leaves in salads) so I was really pleased when my spinach wall planters sprang into life with bushels of massive glorious leaves. As it happens, they went from teeny seedling to large leaves in the two and a bit weeks that I spent in the US on holiday and so I missed harvesting the glorious little leaves. However, I've now taken off the whole crop to use in a soup and am hoping that when it grows back that I can start to harvest the small and delicate leaves. I think I was too hasty in planting it out, even though spinach is supposed to be available in the UK as of March though, take a look at how ragged and patchy the leaves are! I know that snails are responsible for some of the holes but I think the rest might be leaf miners. 
Leaf my spinach alone leaf miners!
Gardening is starting to feel a bit like a defensive pastime, I never imagined I'd have to consider netting my cool weather leaf crops! I've never minded a couple of snail holes or misshapen harvest items but leaf miners aren't fun, I'm going to keep a weather eye on the next crop! I'm going to order some Neem oil so I can have it ready and waiting...

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