Sailor Popeye isn’t the only one who loves spinach. These easy-to-grow vegetables are very healthy for us, which is why they are included in many delicious recipes. But did you know that there are different types of spinach? So thats it.
So that you can learn a little about the different varieties that exist, we are going to comment on the most popular ones in this article. Surely you have already tried more than one.
How many kinds are there of spinach?
There are many different types of spinach, but they can be distinguished into two main groups: Slow growing and fast growing. The former are better adapted to warm climates and develop in summer and late spring. On the other hand, the fast-growing ones prefer cool climates and their cultivation is carried out in autumn, late winter and early spring. However, we will talk more in detail about the different varieties themselves.
smooth leaf spinach
Let’s start with the smooth leaf spinach. As its name indicates, the leaves of this variety are smooth, and not wavy as it usually is in these vegetables. The great advantage of this feature is that it is very easy to clean. Although they usually sell it in supermarkets already pre-washed, it is best to pass it through water at home, just in case. Smooth-leaf spinach is usually eaten cooked, but it can also be very tasty in an omelette, for example.
Another type of spinach is Tyee. It has thick dark green leaves. They belong to the group of semi-tasty spinach. Therefore, the flavor of this variety is exquisite, regardless of whether it is eaten raw or cooked. When it comes to growing Tyee spinach, the best time to grow it is in the fall. This variety is normally harvested in early spring, preferably during the day when temperatures hover around forty degrees.
Catalina spinach is also a very popular variety. Its leaves are small, crisp and bright green. The shape of the vegetable is oval. It is a plant that is very resistant to high temperatures. it can also withstand light frost and shade in summer. In addition, it is fast growing, as it usually takes at most forty days to reach its maximum size. The most common way to consume this variety is in salads.
In the case of Catalina spinach, it is not necessary to plant it in the hottest and harshest days of summer. According to experts, the ideal conditions to carry out this task are the cooler months of the autumn and spring seasons.
Teton spinach is a very healthy hybrid. The leaves produced by this vegetable are tender and dark green. It can be differentiated from other types of spinach because its leaves grow vertically, and very fast too. It should also be noted that it does not bloom. It is a survival mechanism that this type of spinach has developed to be able to withstand the hottest times of the year. Therefore, the seeds of this plant should be sown during the cooler months. If not, it is quite likely that the Teton spinach will not be able to survive.
Spinach Indian Summer or Indian Summer
Indian Summer spinach, also known as Indian Summer, cannot be missing from this list. It is a vegetable with crunchy and dark leaves, whose length usually reaches between 25 and 30 centimeters. The best time to grow this variety are the cool seasons: autumn and spring. After 35 to 40 days from planting, Indian Summer spinach reaches maturity and can be harvested.
It should be noted that during the cultivation of this type of spinach Various maintenance tasks must be carried out. For this reason, it is recommended to plant this vegetable with some previous experience in planting and growing spinach. It is very important to monitor pests, sun, amount of soil and pH level.
Growing and caring for spinach
Cardinal red spinach
Among the most common types of spinach are also the cardinal red ones. As its name indicates, This variety has a somewhat reddish tone, similar to beet. They are highly appreciated in salads. However, they are the variety that bolts the fastest. For this reason they should be harvested while still quite young.
Needless to say, they are also the type of spinach that faster mature. In just 21 to 32 days they can be harvested in spring and summer. If we are in winter or autumn, it usually takes between 25 and 35 days to mature. Regarding the ideal temperature for growing cardinal red spinach, it should be warm. We must ensure that it receives at least six hours of sunlight each day and moderate risks.
spicy spinach grows very well in a wide variety of fertile, moist soils. However, it is a plant very sensitive to acidity. For this reason, it is necessary to ensure that the pH is between 6,5 and 7,5. This variety germinates considerably better in cool climates, which is why the best time to plant it is early spring. In the event that it is planted in summer, germination can take place irregularly. To ensure that this vegetable grows without problems during the hottest time of the year, it is very important to water correctly to refresh the soil and improve germination. If we want to harvest spicy spinach in the fall, we have to plant it in late summer.
Types of spinach: Savoy spinach
Particularly noteworthy is the savoy spinach. This is the best known of all. The leaves of this vegetable have a wavy and wrinkled appearance. In addition, they are quite thick and dark green in color. Before cooking this variety, it is very important to wash it well, a task that can be somewhat difficult due to its crunchiness. Therefore, it is best to soak them in water for some time, until they are very clean.
Although it is true that the most common is to consume savoy spinach cooked, we can also prepare it fried, in stews, soups, salads, creams, pastas, purees, green smoothies or to accompany fish. We can buy this variety packed in airtight packages in the markets. Some examples for this type of spinach would be Bloomsdal and Regiment.
The regiment is a hybrid type that It stands out mainly for its wide and thick leaves. It is generally grown in spring and autumn and takes only 37 days to germinate. Therefore, the yield of seedlings is very fast. In addition, it has a lot of flavor, which makes Regiment spinach ideal for cooking it in the way we most like. When eaten fresh and raw, its crunchy texture makes it a good choice for stews and stir-fries.
As for the Bloomsdale, this is one of the oldest spinach varieties. Its leaves are curly and long and its cultivation takes place in spring in sunny places. It is important to water them abundantly during times of drought and to ensure that their growth is maintained. As a curious fact, it should be noted that this is the type of spinach that the famous sailor Popeye ate.
Another type of spinach belonging to the savoy variety is the semi-savoy. The development of this is less intense, that is: It is lighter and its texture is less, but it retains the properties of its predecessor. In addition, it is very easy to grow it, since it is very resistant to diseases. Even so, it is not marketed as much. They can be prepared perfectly fried or in creams. However, it is important to wash it well to remove all the dirt that may remain in the corrugations of its leaves.
Like the other varieties of savoy, it also contains high levels of iron, fiber, folate, and magnesium. These are extremely important elements to maintain proper muscle function, regulate heart rate, stabilize blood pressure and help the immune system. Another remarkable characteristic of this species is that it helps to cure gastric ulcers and gastritis.
What is baby spinach?
Another very notable type of spinach is baby spinach, which is becoming more and more popular. It is a variety of spinach with smooth leaves. However, the baby is grown before and its collection is premature. In fact, it receives the name “baby” (“baby” in English) because of the short development time it has. As a consequence, its size is smaller and its appearance is softer, sweeter and more tender.
Therefore, it is not surprising that this variety is the favorite when it comes to preparing sandwiches, gourmet-style appetizers and salads. Also, consuming it raw maintains its high level of vitamin C. Another feature to note is that it has fewer calories in this way, which makes it a great ally if we want to lose weight. They generally sell baby spinach with its stems, as they can also be eaten since they are quite tender. Of all the types of spinach, this is the one with the lowest levels of oxalic acid.
Undoubtedly, all types of spinach are delicious and very healthy if consumed in adequate portions. What is your favourite?