Any spinach needs the right harvest! Harvest instructions and tips
It’s important not only to grow a crop of any garden and garden culture, but also to clean it in a timely manner, so that the efforts spent on growing plants are not in vain, all their useful and taste qualities are not lost on the way, but are on our dining table. For example, a popular and healthy spinach. What are the rules and features of harvesting this culture that you need to know that its greens really help restore our vitality and raise the general tone of the body?
When to harvest spinach
Harvested spinach in time is fresh and juicy greens with a huge set of valuable vitamins, mineral salts and other goodies. This is a huge number of interesting, delicious dishes that can even be served at the royal table. But if you are late for cleaning, then the plant will cease, its leaves will coarsen, become tasteless, fibrous. Of this spinach, not one, even the most wonderful, chef can not cook a delicious salad, scrambled eggs or mashed soup.
You can pluck leaves as soon as 5-6 full leaves are formed in the plant. This usually occurs 30–40 days after emergence. This period depends on the variety and weather conditions. If spinach is planted in the winter, then you will pick early greens in the first half of May. Early spring planting will yield a crop later, by the end of May. By planting a crop in late spring and early summer, you can harvest until September. And the August sowing will provide you with fresh herbs in October.
Spinach, in addition to its taste and nutritional qualities, is valuable for its early maturity: its technical maturity occurs 2 months after sowing seeds
These are the general rules and terms for harvesting crops. When cutting spinach leaves, you should pay attention to some of the nuances of harvesting, which will not only save high-quality greens, but also extend the period of fruiting of the crop:
- cleaning is recommended in the morning after the dew has subsided. At this time, spinach leaves are well hydrated and chilled. Greens harvested during the day can quickly fade and lose juiciness;
- Do not remove greens immediately after watering or rain. Moisture-saturated leaves are very fragile, easily broken, can rot, chatter and deteriorate, so it will be difficult to transport or store them without loss;
- cutting is best done on the day of consumption or sale of the product, since fresh spinach leaves are not subject to long-term storage;
- harvest spinach in several stages, as the plants grow and new leaves form, up to the period of mass shooting.
When choosing harvesting dates, it is important to remember that the collection of crop leaves is limited to 10-15 days. After the appearance of peduncles, spinach leaves will become tasteless, stiff.
Spinach is used only until the moment of shooting, since then its leaves are rough, bitter
How to harvest spinach
There are two ways to harvest spinach:
Selective cleaning is tearing a small amount of greenery as needed. First, larger outer leaves are harvested. They should be broken off, and not torn off the stem. No more than half of the leaves can be removed from one plant. Selective cleaning allows you to extend the period of collecting greens and finish it at the beginning of shooting.
Selective harvesting can be combined with thinning to increase the distance between plants
Continuous cleaning involves pulling out or cutting the plant at the level of the lower leaves. If the plant is pulled out of the ground with a root, then it is necessary to shake it off, remove the yellow, damaged, contaminated leaves.
Spinach, harvested with the root, is stored better and longer than separately picked leaves
The standard spinach greens are young, healthy, clean, succulent leaves without damage, flower stems and impurities of weed grass. Harvested herbs must be dry!
Harvested plants are placed in a basket or box with roots (petioles) down. Spinach will better transport if the container is covered, or in boxes with plants ice will lie.
During transportation, the boxes are covered with a film, since spinach leaves quickly lose their market value
How to store greens
The most useful are freshly picked spinach leaves. They contain a complete set of useful elements. If the greens must be preserved for some time, then the collected clean leaves are wrapped with a damp towel and sent to a container for vegetables. Spinach stored in this way must be consumed within 2 days. Other ways to store spinach:
- put clean, carefully selected leaves in a food container, pour them with cold water and place the tray on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. If you change the water in the tank daily, then spinach retains its freshness and nutritional value for a week;
- dry clean spinach greens are wrapped tightly with cling film and put in the refrigerator. In this package, spinach remains juicy and tasty for up to a month.
To increase the shelf life of greens up to a month, simply wrap it with cling film
If you need a longer storage, greens can be frozen, dried or canned. With the correct bookmark and compliance with storage rules, these methods will save the useful properties of spinach for several months.Recent entries In April, I process roses so that no pests encroach on my beauties
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Freezing is carried out in various ways. Here is one of them:
- Rinse and spinach leaves into small strips (about 1 cm).
Before freezing, greens are recommended to be cut into small strips.
- Flanch prepared greens for 1–1.5 minutes in boiling water.
- Allow to drain, cool.
Blanch spinach and cool with zeta
- Spread the blanched greens in a portioned plastic container or form portioned cakes out of it, unfolding them in plastic bags.
- To freeze.
Spinach perfectly retains all its properties when frozen, which allows you to use it at any time of the year
Please note: the product cannot be re-frozen, therefore it should be frozen in portions.
Frozen spinach can be stored for up to 6 months without losing its beneficial qualities. Before use, it does not even need to be completely thawed, just soften a little. Frozen greens can be used to make soups, vegetable side dishes and stews, salads, omelettes, sauces.
Video: 2 ways to freeze spinach
For its preparation, 1 kg of green leaves will require approximately 100 g of salt:
- Wash greens, cut thick stalks, allow to dry.
- Dry leaves are stacked in layers in washed cans, pouring each layer with salt, tamping a little or keeping under oppression.
- As the leaves subside, new salted layers of greenery are added.
- The filled jar is covered with a lid and stored in the refrigerator.
Salting is a way to keep spinach leaves until the next season.
It is very convenient and simple to store dried spinach. The procedure can be carried out in an oven or an electric dryer. It is important that the drying process takes place at a temperature not exceeding + 30–35 degrees.
The temperature regulator of the electric dryer will allow you to set the required temperature
If spinach leaves are dried in the natural mode, it is important to carry out the procedure in a dry, well-ventilated, shaded place and periodically turn the leaves over.
Store dried leaves in a glass container under a lid.
You can preserve spinach with whole or cut leaves, separately or with the addition of sorrel, which gives the future dishes a slight sourness and a piquant taste. For preservation, prepared spinach leaves must be blanched for five minutes in hot water, and then tightly packed in jars. The liberated liquid is drained, and in its place is poured salty boiling brine (50 g of salt per 1 liter of water). After that, the banks are clogged.
Canned spinach has almost the same beneficial properties as fresh herbs
Dried, canned and frozen spinach can be purchased in the distribution network and used for preparing various dishes, but it is much more reliable to make such preparations on your own.
So that the efforts spent on growing magic spinach leaves are not in vain, do not neglect the rules of harvesting the plant, spend a little time organizing the storage of greens of this wonderful crop and you will provide yourself with spinach delicacies for the whole year.