days to maturity:
plant spacing: 1 plant every 2 feet
sunlight requirements: 6-14 hours
look out for: caterpillars and slugs
harvest notes: more shade, more tender
Sissoo spinach is a vigorous, spreading ground cover that is incredibly easy to grow. It prefers 50% or more shade and tolerates a wide range of pH soil conditions, though it does require high amounts of nitrogen, organic matter, and water. This is a great understory or ground cover option for your food forest since it spreads easily, controls weeds, has very few pests and likes partial shade. Of all the “weird spinaches” we grow for tropical greens during the summer this is our favorite because it makes a handsome plant and is easy to cook with.
The leaves are crinkly and very crunchy which makes them easy to use in the kitchen. They require steaming or boiling when eaten in large quantities because of the presence of oxalates but Brazilians eat this plant raw in salads with oil, vinegar, tomato, and onion. The leaves are rich in vitamin B, C, F and K, magnesium, zinc & phosphorous.
This plant doesn’t produce viable seeds but luckily it propagates very easily from cuttings so once you have one happy plant you can spread it all over your food forest and even give plants to friends.