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So this didn’t work so well…

By Penny Stine

I love trying new things, but it's always so disappointing when they don't grow as described on the seed packet or in the catalog. Malabar spinach is not actually a spinach, but a tropical vine that grows in Asia and can be used like spinach. It's supposed to flourish in the heat, growing up to a foot a day. The photo on the website showed a plant that was easily six feet tall on a trellis. I planted it in several places and it had a lousy germination rate. 

Here are two little plants that did come up in early June, soon after I planted them. I took this photo yesterday. It should be obvious that they're still about three inches tall. Not exactly what I was hoping for when I ordered the seeds. Maybe they'll still grow, since we probably won't freeze for another month or so, but I'm not holding my breath.

 

 

One of the places I planted the Malabar greens was along my pallet trellis. When they didn't germinate, I stuck a few cucumber seeds in the ground several weeks later. So while I was looking for cucumbers Saturday, I found this. See that little green plant coming up between the cucumber vines and the weeds? It's Malabar spinach!

Go figure. 

I don't think it's going to grow a foot a day, either. 

 

 

 

 

 

On the other hand, I did find this cool cucumber, which is about the reddest Sikkim cucumber I've picked so far. They have a delightful, crisp sweet flavor, much better than traditional cukes and Armenian cucumbers (it's just my opinion, I know there are a lot of Armenian cucumber fans out there). Some of the skins are incredibly bitter and nasty, so I almost always peel them. Sometimes the cucumber itself has a bitter end, too, which under normal circumstances would make me not want to plant it. But it's so good when it's good that I'll plant it again next year. 

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