Strawberry spinach - strawberries, raspberries, spinach or something else?
A multi-leafed mary, or zhinda, or strawberry spinach is an annual vegetable plant that can be attributed to the edible greens used in cooking. And it can also be grown as a decorative culture. Only this must be done with caution so as not to get another weed on your site. About this article.
Description of the plant, its characteristics, region of cultivation
This is an annual herbaceous plant of the amaranth family. His homeland is North America. Native Indians used the plant to stain clothing and materials. Perhaps that is why another of the unofficial names of this plant is Native American ink. And German monks cultivated it more than four hundred years ago.
Both male and female organs have strawberry spinach flowers and are pollinated by the wind.
It grows in Russia in the southern, northeastern and central regions. It grows to 50 cm or more, has sprawling branches covered with light green leaves of a spear-shaped form. The structure is very reminiscent of tender spinach. It contains vitamins, carbohydrates, carotene and many other useful trace elements. As they ripen, the leaves become stiffer. From the end of July to frost, it bears fruit with bright red berries that look like strawberries or raspberries.
Strawberry spinach is reputed to be handsome because of its bright red fruits (fruit), which resemble strawberries or raspberries.
Varieties of Strawberry Spinach
There are very few varieties of strawberry spinach. Domestic varieties of this culture do not currently exist. The most common variety is Strawberry Sticks.
Variety Strawberry Sticks (Strawberry Branch)
A variety of Dutch selection, has such a name because the berries of this variety have a light strawberry flavor. It differs little from the wild-growing form. The variety is cold-resistant, photophilous, can withstand shading, prefers fertile soils with a light structure. One of the fastest growing leafy vegetables.
The variety is widespread in Russia
The variety is photophilous, but can withstand slight shading. Cold-resistant, able to withstand small frosts to -7 ° C. It is a bush up to 70 cm tall with a branching shape. The flowers are small, green, which, growing together, form numerous fruit crops, resembling bright red strawberries or raspberries when ripe.
More characterized as an ornamental plant, flower
Distinctive features of strawberry spinach, its advantages and disadvantages
Strawberry spinach has a lot of advantages. The plant is unpretentious: it grows easily on any soil, in bright sun. Able to tolerate frost. Appearance is exotic. At the same time, it is also edible, and even very useful. First of all, it is grown for the leaves, which appear at the same time as early onions and are suitable for the preparation of early vitamin salads. Leaves can be harvested for future use by freezing, pickling or pickling.
Fruit seeds resembling strawberries or raspberries are also suitable for eating. In their composition there is absolutely no acid, so they have a fresh taste. For eating, it is better to combine them with other berries. The value of the fruit lies in the high content of useful trace elements. They are effective in increasing hemoglobin levels in the blood due to their high iron content.
100 grams of strawberry spinach leaves contain more protein than the same amount of milk powder.
Video: Benefits of Strawberry Spinach
Strawberry spinach can be sown in open ground immediately after the soil has thawed. In the southern regions this can be done already in mid-March.
You can sow spinach seeds immediately after the snow has melted.
Before sowing, it is advisable to stratify the seeds by placing them on the lower shelf of the refrigerator for 3-5 days, and then soak for half an hour in a weak solution of potassium permanganate or fungicide Maxim. This will protect plants from fungal diseases and accelerate the germination process.
Before sowing, it is useful to soak the seeds in a weak solution of potassium permanganate
The best predecessors will be cucumbers, tomatoes, other greens. Often, strawberry spinach is planted as a compactor of other crops.
When preparing the soil, you need to take care of its fertility. During digging, it is useful to introduce humus (at the rate of 5kg / m2) or ash (200g / m2). It is advisable that such training be carried out in the fall.Recent entries In April, I process roses so that no pests encroach on my beauties
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Seeds are sown in grooves to a depth of not more than 1.5 cm
- Shallow beards are carried out in loose soil with a depth of not more than 2 cm.
- Seeds are mixed with river sand in a ratio of 1: 3 and sown in grooves.
- The grooves are sprinkled with earth, moisturize and mulch with a thin layer of humus.
- The bed must be covered with a film until emergence.
Shoots will appear in 10-12 days. It is important to ensure that the soil in the grooves is moist.
When the plants grow, they should be thinned out (twice), so that in the final version the distances between them are at least 35–40 cm.
You can also plant seeds in holes with a distance of 40 cm between them. 4-6 seeds are placed in each hole to a depth of not more than 1.5 cm, they are covered with soil and slightly moistened. Before emergence, the wells are covered with jars or cropped plastic bottles.
To accelerate the emergence of seedlings, crops are covered with plastic bottles
Planting through seedlings
Planting strawberry spinach through seedlings will accelerate the possibility of obtaining healthy leaves and fruits. It is better to grow seedlings in peat cups so that when planting in the ground not to injure the root system of plants.
You can start sowing seedlings in early March. In prepared cups with a diameter of 5 cm, the seeds are buried by 1-1.5 cm, sprinkled with earth on top and lightly watered. It is better to cover glasses with a film and put them in a warm dark place, not allowing the soil to dry out. After 10-12 days, the seeds will germinate, then the film needs to be removed, and the cups with seedlings should be placed on the windowsill, observing the temperature regime not higher than + 15 ° C. Seedlings are planted in open ground after the formation of 4-6 true leaves. This happens about a month after sowing.
Seedling of strawberry spinach is very similar to a young quinoa. Is not it?
Seeds for planting are best obtained on their own. To do this, you need to choose well-ripened fertility, carefully knead them, pour warm water and leave for a day in a dark place. Then rinse them from the formed mucus by passing through a strainer. Next, the seeds are laid out in a thin layer on a napkin to dry, and then they are removed for storage in a paper bag.
Video: spinach seed tricks
Strawberry spinach care can be as follows:
- The plant is hygrophilous, so it is important to ensure that the soil is constantly moist;
- Young green leaves are collected before flowering;
- The first top dressing of plants (at the time of formation of the first true leaves) can be carried out with ammonium nitrate (1 tbsp. / 10 liters of water), later - with ash (half a glass / bush);
- Periodic weeding and loosening can be done less frequently if the soil around the plants is mulled;
- Stalks of strawberry spinach require garter, as with a good harvest under the weight of the fruit, they bend to the ground.
Strawberry spinach is an ornamental vegetable plant. It is also called spinach raspberry, Zhminda. It contains a lot of useful substances (fructose, galactose, sucrose), a rich set of vitamins, in terms of iodine content it is a leader among vegetable crops. Due to the laxative properties of spinach, it is used as a body cleanser when all toxins are removed from the intestine, but the body is not infringed on vital trace elements and vitamins during the diet. Used for the prevention and treatment of vitamin deficiency, it helps hypertensives. Like regular spinach, its greens go to food (to salads, when cooking soups and meat dishes). The taste of berries resembles raspberries, but are completely acid free. They increase hemoglobin. Berries can be harvested until the frost. They make tasty kvass, make jam (with the addition of more acidic berries), wine. I advise everyone - it is very useful, but the taste of raspberries and strawberries, of course, is better, and greens are like ordinary spinach. But there is one “but.” This plant is a malicious weed, it can take your garden, it is very difficult to plant then, if you do not follow.
I planted spinach-raspberry about ten years ago, now it is capable of growing self-seeding constantly. This culture is interesting in that it gives the very first greens: it is not afraid of either severe frosts or heat. It grows on all types of soil, strawberry spinach - a close relative of quinoa and thickets forms exactly the same. You can eat both berries and leaves, but to taste all parts of the plant for an amateur. Red berries do not mean that they are ripe, rather it is technological maturity, but when they become dark purple, soft, then they become very sweet. True, it is difficult to collect them then: they choke, so we cut them together with branches. We sort it out at home, you can also pick up red berries, and then dry them in the sun. It will turn out something similar to raisins, but with a large number of seeds. Then you can add it to tea or compote, tea from the leaves of this spinach helps with colds (tested on yourself), but the taste of tea is not very tasty. Juice from leaves well heals wounds, cuts, in general, you can be friends with this herb, but in no case do not throw a mature plant into compost. Otherwise, then you will collect it throughout the site, although this does not bother me. Along the fence grows by itself, seedlings appear, we collect it and simply eat it, especially since the greens appear when the onions release the first feathers, and this is a vitamin salad.
The fruits of strawberry spinach taste neither strawberries nor raspberries - they are tasteless, but they look spectacular
Sometimes this plant is called "handsome - disappointment." And in this title there is a large share of truth. Many gardeners in the forums express regret after meeting with the plant: berries without taste and smell, the effects of sowing are felt throughout the site. But there are those who took this plant, given its usefulness or focusing on its decorative appearance. Therefore, everyone here decides for himself. If you really pick strawberry spinach for the experiment, you first need to arm yourself with knowledge about it. This material is an assistant.