Swiss chard


Can’t Have It

Popeye ain’t the only bloke who’s gotta have spinach on tap whenever the urge strikes him. Some gardeners have similar needs — not me, though, who, come summer, gravitates to peppers, corn, tomatoes, and cucumbers. And being gardeners, you spinach lovers want freshly picked spinach, not that wan stuff that Popeye squeezes out of a can.

Popeye with can of spinach

No matter how good a gardener you are, though, you can’t grow spinach this time of year (a statement that will no doubt be challenged by some reader who IS growing spinach now). Spinach is sensitive to cycles of night and day, and our summer’s short nights induce the plants to send up seedstalks, then die, instead of growing the succulent, broad leaves they do in spring and fall. Read more