For those not familiar with the term, perpetual spinach contains a seed that when planted will remain continuous for the rest of your life, provided it is protected from adverse weather conditions. The seeds themselves are called "spike cells" and contain one cell on each of the spikes. These spike cells have an outer protective coat called "mono-saccharide" and the inner, non-mono-saccharide coating is called "terpinosaccharide". As each of the spike cells multiplies and grows to form a cluster, the cluster is called a "nanticle". The single cell can then reproduce itself to form new spike cells or seeds.
So what's so special about this type of perennial? Growing Guidelines: Sow chard in the spring, but do not over water the seed bed. Mulch over Perpetual Spinach seeds with damp fiber or sugar cane to help protect the root system and keep the soil moist and cool. Each perpetual spinach beet is really only a single seed, so you'll have to carefully thin out seedlings to the strongest baby peritons each cluster if more than one germinate. Once you've got the cluster under control, just lay the remaining un-harvested cluster on top of the chard over the summer and your perennial spinach beet will continue to grow forever.
How Do You Grow Spinach? First harvest your chard and after the first bloom has died back, remove the sprigs and place them in a Tupperware container filled with sterile water and a few drops of citrus juice or white vinegar added. Set the container on top of a half sheet of muslin or other coarse garden cloth and allow the seeds to soak for up to an hour before transferring them to a clean pot or tray. Avoid pressing down too hard as the roots may be bruised from being crammed into tight spaces.
The next step is to transplant your seeds directly into containers that are slightly larger than your original seed packet, but smaller than true spinach. This allows room for air to circulate around the seeds which, in turn, helps to germinate faster. When choosing your seeds, it's best to choose ones that are high in quality and early-matured for rapid growth. Once you've chosen your chard, place them in a plastic basket that has been labeled with your seed name. Keep them in an area that is relatively dry, but which has plenty of direct sunlight and drainage for the seeds to grow their way to harvest time.
A word of caution about the maintenance of your perennial spinach plants. Although they're not annuals like most perennials, chard can still have a significant amount of watering and other maintenance requirements. To avoid problems with pests or disease, make sure you water your chard enough to stay well watered but not overly so. Also, make sure that your perennial chard isn't exposed to too much wind. Persistent wind can damage leaves on your true spinach, making them fall off before harvest time.
One important factor to remember when growing spinach with seeds indoors is that diseases can spread through spores. Therefore, it's important that you take great care with your seeds and your plants. Keep any seeds that may need to be sprayed separately from those that may be laying inside your garden. If you find any that have begun to sprout, immediately remove them and place them in a protective container, such as a refrigerator bag.
If you've decided to grow spinach with seeds indoors, there are a few other things you'll need to know about chard. First, make sure that your chard is well-drained. While chard is fine without added fertilizers, it will thrive with them. In addition, you may find that your chard tends to lose its shape or doesn't grow as well if it's been fertilized. Perpetual seed potatoes do well in a variety of conditions. If you're growing them indoors, add a light layer of organic mulch to your area.
Growing your own vegetables is a great way to save money. You can pick healthier, high-yielding vegetables for yourself and enjoy eating them yourself. Even though seeds might take a little longer to germinate than traditional vegetables, the taste is far superior. When the season is done, you simply pop your seeds into your compost bin-no waiting until spring!