How to Grow Chinese Spinach (Amaranthus)
Instructions for Growing Chinese Spinach
in Your Vegetable Garden
Chinese Spinach is a very colorful and nutritional vegetable species. It is also known as bhaji and callaloo. It will grow up to 3 feet tall, so place it strategically in your garden (so it doesn't block sunlight from smaller plants). The leaves grow to approx 6” with a flavor that's a bit like artichoke. As the plant ages, it tends to get a bit spicy. The more mature the plant, the spicier (hotter) the flavor.
Chinese Spinach is a good choice for container gardening, and is actually a nice decorative addition. For more information review: container gardening.
This vegetable prefers a sunny position sheltered from winds in cool areas. It will tolerate partial shade in hot areas.
Chinese Spinach will bolt (go to seed) if the garden soil dries out in hot weather, so keep this plant well watered. If it bolts, remove any flowers and seed heads that appear.
For growing chinese spinach, you need soil that is slightly acidic and that drains well.
Prepare the gardening bed ahead of time by digging in compost and well-rotted manures. If the beds are well prepared this way, you shouldn't need to do any other fertilizing.
Sow chinese spinach seed directly into garden beds, when the soil is at least 68 degrees (F). Successive sowings ever other week will give you a longer harvest period.
Dig your rows so that they're 1 foot apart. After the seedlings appear, thin them 4” apart. Seedlings appear within 3 weeks. Young growth cuttings can be taken from lateral shoots which have not yet flowered.
Growing chinese spinach works best in soil that is constantly moist. Water frequently.
If your garden bed was prepared as mentioned above, no extra fertilizing is needed. Otherwise, apply an occasional dose of liquid nitrogen fertilizer.
If you're gardening in warmer climates, caterpillars and stem borer may be a problem when growing chinese spinach.
Gardening Tip for Growing Chinese Spinach - Practice good vegetable gardening by rotating your crops within your garden space with each new season. This will prevent many plant diseases.
Growing chinese spinach takes approximately 8 weeks to reach harvesting size.
There are several ways to harvest this vegetable. The tips of larger plants can be picked while young, or the whole plant can be pulled from the ground once the plant reaches about 10" in height. You can also cut the mature plant back to 1” above the ground level. Leave a bit of the stem and a few of the botom leaves, to help encourage the plant to grow again.