Approximately 14 seeds per gram. Tetragonia expansa Lot# SP34002 New Zealand Spinach may be familiar to many gardeners. It is not really categorized as spinach but resembles spinach in both appearance and flavor. It is a perennial vegetable grown as a tender annual. It is a low-growing, weak-stemmed, leafy plant that can spread to 61 cm (24”) wide and grow to 30 cm (12”) tall. It has succulent, triangular to oval shaped leaves that are pale to dark green and grow from 5-10 cm (2-4”) inches long. The leaves of New Zealand spinach are smaller and fuzzier than those of regular spinach. New Zealand provides an abundant amount of leaves that can be used for salads and or cooked greens in mid-summer. Once established, it becomes a vigorous and trouble-free plant. The flavor can be enhanced by providing some shade. Pick the leaves and young shoots of this trailing plant regularly to lengthen the harvest.
Direct sow New Zealand spinach in the garden after last frost in spring or later. Start New Zealand spinach indoors 2 to 3 weeks before the last frost in spring for later transplanting. New Zealand spinach is not frost hardy like true spinach. Sow seeds 1.25 cm (½") deep and 5-10 cm (2-4”) inches apart. New Zealand spinach grows from seed clusters that produce several seedlings, similar to beet seed. Soak seeds overnight in water to help speed up germination. Space out seedlings when they are about 7.5 cm (3”) tall and thin to the strongest seedlings 30-45 cm (12-18”) apart. Set New Zealand spinach in hills similar to squash. This will allow the weak-stems to sprawl. Space out hills or rows 60-76 cm (24-36") apart.
Soil Conditions: Well worked rich, loose well-drained soil. Ideal pH: 6.5-7.0.
Planting Depth: Sow seeds 1.25 cm(½") deep and 5-10 cm (2-4”) apart.
Germination: 14-21 days.
Height at Maturity:30 cm (12") tall. Spread: 61 cm (24”) across.
Days to Maturity: 55-70 days.
Watering: 2.5 cm (1") of water a week ensures good growth, whether plants are grown in single or wide rows. The amount of rain that falls during the week affects how much you should water your garden. Keep New Zealand spinach evenly moist; water regularly for rapid, full growth. Do not let the soil dry out. New Zealand spinach is drought tolerant once established but leaves will not be as tender or flavorful.
Sun/Shade: Full Sun
Spacing after Thinning: Thin to one plant every 15-30 cm (6-12”) apart. Rows should be 30-40 cm (12-16”) apart.
Additional Information Add leaves to stir fry’s, salads, bread stuffing, stews, and soups. Use wherever a recipe calls for spinach. One thing to be aware of is that older leaves in particular can have high levels of oxalate, a chemical that is responsible for kidney stones. It is recommended that if you are going to use older leaves that they be blanched in hot water for a few minutes prior to use, to extract the oxalates. Young leaves appear to be less of a problem. New Zealand spinach has small yellow flowers and conical capsules. New Zealand spinach will grow well in containers. Grow two plants in a 5-gallon pot.