Spinach - Red Cardinal
This variety produces delicious, tender leaves with attractive deep red stems. It is fast growing, and therefore great as baby leaves, cooked or in salads. It is an excellent source of vitamin A, good for vitamin C and folate.
Sow outdoors thinly, from February to August, where they are to crop, 2.5cm deep, directly into finely-prepared, fertile, moisture-retentive soil, which has already been watered. Sowings from July onwards should only be grown for baby leaves. Allow 30cm between rows. Early sowings may benefit from cloche protection. Seedlings usually appear in 7-14 days. Water well and ensure soil remains moist to prevent plants running to seed. No thinning is necessary if only baby leaves are required. Thin to 10cm apart to produce mature plants. Do not allow plants to dry out as this will make them bolt. Harvest from May to October. Harvest unthinned as baby leaves. Take a few leaves from each plant, allowing them to regrow for two or three more pickings.