Red malabar spinach is a vegetable that resembles spinach but is not part of the spinach family. It has red veins and a Swiss chard-like taste. Red malabar spinach does well in hot locations and is often cultivated because it provides a continuous supply of leaves. It grows up to 6 feet in height so it needs a support structure, but it will attach itself to the trellis and doesn't need to be tied on. Does this Spark an idea?
Sow the seeds indoors five to six weeks before the last frost. Fill a seed tray with a sterile planting medium -- ideally formulated for seedlings. Press the individual seeds into the medium and water the tray. Cover the tray with a clear lid and keep it in an area where it gets plenty of filtered light. Spray the soil daily with water in a water bottle to keep it moist.
Prepare the planting location by tilling it, removing any debris and adding plenty of well-rotted manure or compost for nutrients. This spinach variety isn't picky about soil conditions, but it will not tolerate water-logged soil. Add some sand to the soil if it doesn't drain well. The soil should feel like a wrung-out sponge when squeezed.
Transplant the seedlings outdoors when the temperature is consistently between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant the seedlings along a trellis and set each seedling 1/4-inch deep in the soil and 6 inches apart. Water the seedlings after transplanting them.
Water the spinach with at least 1 inch of water a week -- depending on the growing conditions and soil. Do not let the soil dry out.
Harvest throughout the growing season when the leaves are large enough to eat. The leaves regrow, providing an ongoing supply of greens.