Easy Spinach Greens (and more) for a Summer Patio Garden

Anyone with some sunshine can grow these delicious and nutritious greens.

“But I don’t have a green thumb!” you say? Don’t worry, these plants will ‘grow easy on you’!

With the amount of boxed and processed foods most of us eat, I believe it helps our overall health to get at least some portion of our nutrition from fresh greens. The grocery store is sure better than nothing. However, I think fresh-picked greens grown at home beat out store-bought any day!

Which nutritious plants thrive in the Florida heat—even if you neglect them?

  • Malabar Spinach
  • Longevity Spinach
  • Okinawan Spinach

Not only will these greens flourish in Summer, they survive well enough through our mild Winters to thrive again as it heats up next year.

Malabar Spinach thriving in the Summer!

Malabar spinach is a vine, so be sure to put a bamboo stick or a trellis in your pot for it to climb up.

Pluck a few leaves off daily for your salad. This plant will drop seed in the pot and sprout up new plants. You can leave them in the same pot or transplant to a new pot.

Longevity Spinach

The Longevity and Okinawan Spinaches both take a little while to get going, but once they take off, they can form a small hedge on your patio of endless greens! So you may want to plant them in a big enough pot (at least ten gallons).

Okinawan Spinach (young)

Want to know two more of my absolute favorite “little green trees” you can grow on a patio?

  • Katuk
  • Moringa

With half of its nutrition providing you with great plant protein, Katuk also tastes surprisingly good! Kind of like a nutty or mild, sweet pea flavor.

It can take a longer time to get going, but then it grows quickly. Both of these highly nutritious plants will grow tall and thin, but you can chop them back down and they will regrow even more leaves!

Katuk (young)
Katuk – it will grow tall and lean over, so don’t be afraid to chop off the top!

Once a plant gets established and growing well, it’s safe to harvest up to two thirds of the plant. I prefer just to take a little bit of everything to add to a meal or to snack on in the garden. But when these two mini trees get over four or five feet, I chop them back down!

Moringa – top chopped off. I like to dry the leaves and mash them into “vitamin powder”.

Moringa is known around the world as “the Tree of Life”. It is more nutrient dense than kale! Check out this article: 10 Reasons to Eat Moringa Every Day.

Both Moringa and Katuk are easy to care for and can survive through heat, drought and poor nutrition. They sure love Summers and will thrive even more with some compost and regular watering.

I highly recommend reading up about the amazing benefits of these plants.

My last “bonus green” might come as a surprise to you…

Did you know sweet potato leaves are edible? Yup! Some gardeners even grow them just to harvest the leaves!

So if you are patiently waiting for your sweet potatoes to grow over the Summer, now you can harvest leaves from the beautiful vines!

It’s a good idea to keep the vines from getting too long anyway, as we want the plant to focus on growing the delicious roots instead.

Try some sweet potato leaves for your next dish!

Want more easy and worthwhile plants that just keep growing? Check these out:

  • Garlic Chives
  • Bunching Onions
  • Cuban Oregano
  • Jewels of Opar
  • Mint
  • Lemon Balm
  • Cranberry Hibiscus

I’m just discovering these, too!

  • Sissoo Spinach
  • Egyptian Spinach
  • Roselle
Smokia and our potted Sweet Potatoes

Have some favorite easy greens you’d like to share? Any tips? Comment below!

Happy growin’!

Elizabeth

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