Friday, March 14, 2014

Grow Philippine spinach (talinum) year round in pots

Grow Philippine spinach (talinum) year round in pots
Dr Abe V Rotor

Talinum (Talinum fruticosum = T. tiangulare). Other names: Ceylon spinach, Fame flower, Surinam Purslane.  While it is cultivated as a leafy vegetable in Africa and South and Southeast Asia, it generally grows as an annual weed in fields and gardens during the monsoon season.  .   

Potted talinum at home, QC

Talinum is propagated by cutting. Plant in pots if you have no space in the garden. Use the lower half of one-gallon PET bottles. (Or any convenient improvised pot.)  Punch 3 or 4 holes on the side, an inch above the bottom to drain excess water, but to store water as well. 

You may buy ready made garden pots (photos). Be sure they fit into the place like window sill, fence, patio, and other locations where the plant receives adequate sunlight, and is safe from animals, sudden changes of weather, and pollution. 

On reaching 4 to 6 inches, harvest the succulent shoots, wait for new shoots to develop for the next harvest, at two weeks interval.  Replace spent soil with new garden soil, preferably with compost, after 4 or 5 harvests. Staggered planting schedule in different pots will assure a continuous supply of fresh talinum year round.  

Author with talinum harvest. Pick only the leaves and let the shoots to grow new leaves. If you wish to have more shoots, harvest the succulent tops, like kamote tops.

Talinum is rich in vitamin A and C, calcium, iron, and dietary fiber. There are many ways to prepare talinum. The most common is blanching to be served as salad, with tomato and onions, or seasoning.  Talinum is the choice vegetable for beef stew.  And sinigang.  It goes well with fish, and other vegetables, when cooking bulanglang or diningding. Why don't you try adobong talinum,, like adobong kangkong? ~

NOTE: The true spinach is an Amaranth.   Amaranthus dubious, is also called Chinese spinach, and most likely, Popeye spinach. A spinosus is a spiny amaranth and is edible only as seedling, before the spines develop.  

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