Yesterday I visited a friend's garden and she gave me seedling of a plant I had been missing for many years, a Newzealand Spinach plant! I used to grow it in Germany among my tomato plants and it kept growing tirelessly, providing us with a fast and delicious meal many a time. It is cooked and used just like any other spinach, with a mild taste and a soft texture. It is a perennial and can be harvested regularly (leaves and shoot tips) and does not need to replanted. It also self-seeds to provide you with more plants to share with your neighbours!
Most soils. Keep weed free until plant covers the soil. pH 6–6.8
Soak the seeds for 24 hours before sowing. Germination might take several weeks. Withstands drought but does better if watered regularly. Plant together with tomatoes.
Time of Sowing/Transplanting
Sow any time during the year. Grows best if the soil has a temperature of 25*C but also withstands cold periods. Can be transplanted.
A fully-grown plant covers 1 square meter. Usually 1 plant between 2 tomato plants.
Perennial plant. Can be harvested continuously.
Leaves and shoot tips.
Pests and Diseases
Pest and disease free, occasionally aphids are vectors of cucumber mosaic virus.
Anja Weber is the chairperson of Mama Chakula Foundation, a members' organisation dedicated to rural transformation through education & exchange; honouring old principals while embracing new technologies. She came to East Africa in 1997, when she set up the food processing units at Irente Farm. She has since worked as manager for different companies in East Africa.