After the Winter Spinach (3)

The spinach tyee hybrid plant showed a tremendous result of the aboveground biomass after the application of the worm castings or vermicompost for a year by now. The height of the plant reached over 1.5 m.

The most important thing that after this monoecious plant produced the mature male flowers with yellow color, then the female flowers being fertilized and start producing cube cluster pods that bear many tiny seeds inside.

The first photo above is the male flowers with bright yellow color. The second photo is the cube cluster pods that bearing seeds. The third photo is over 1.5 m height spinach plant. All photos are to celebrate the one-year birthday of the spinach tyee hybrid plant in temperate region. The photos were taken in the late Summer this year.

It seems that the reproduction of the spinach plant needs a lot of nutrients and energy. So, although the plant is getting taller, the size of the leaf is getting smaller with mostly having triangular shapes rather than round shapes. The color of the leaves changed from the dark green to the lighter green and getting thinner, and the leaves are still edible.

The belowground spinach by means of the rooting system looked great. When I dug the soil, I found a lot of hairy roots that spreading everywhere in the pot. Watering the plant thoroughly is the only way to keep the leaves production in an optimal condition. The water should be drained well and avoid the soaking water belowground to keep the roots healthy.

There are three basic types of spinach: Savoy spinach, with dark green and curly leaves. Flat or smooth-leaf spinach has broad leaves that are easier to clean. Semi-savoy spinach hybrid variety like tyee hybrid spinach that has the same texture as savoy with less curly leaves and good for fresh market and processing. Most of the spinach contain an appreciate amount of minerals such as manganese (about 40%), magnesium and iron (each about 20%), and calcium and potassium (each about 10%).

The moderate amount of the available nutrients in the worm castings or vermicompost that mostly higher than in the regular compost (from conventional thermophilic composting) may help to prolong the aboveground biomass production and belowground rooting system. It is well documented that spinach is an annual plant; plant that complete its life cycle, from the germination to the production of seeds, within one year, and then dies). Spinach is rarely biennial growing that can be extended their life until 2 years.

The critical moment in sustainable culture of the spinach plant is in harvesting the seeds and the quality of the seeds. The healthy spinach plant will produce high aboveground leaves biomass, belowground dense rooting system, and a good quality of seeds that can be planted for the next season continuously. The germination of the seeds should be with a high viability and the new plants will have a good performance as before or even better.

– Bintoro Gunadi

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