Parakeet RZ | F1 Warm Season Spinach Seed
$5.27 – $81.07 AUD excl gst
With a ton of vigour and excellent strength against a wide range of leaf diseases Parakeet RZ is a secure choice for late summer and autumn harvested baby leaf crops
The dark green and robust semi-savoy leaves give Parakeet RZ a great yield potential. Care should be taken to avoid sowing Parakeet RZ too early as it requires warmer soil temperatures to perform at its best
- Semi-savoy leaf type
- Upright growing habit, round leaves with a medium savoy
- Suitable for baby leaf production in warm seasons
- Resistances: High: Pe:1-14,16 Intermediate: Pe:15,17
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Spinacia oleracea
CULTURE: Spinach grows in a wide range of soils if moist and fertile, but is sensitive to acidity; pH should be at least 6.0, preferably 6.5-7.5.
Spinach (variable types) Rows; 5, Spacing; 15, Days into maturity;35- 55 depending on variety, Harvest window; 28 days, Days in ground; 30-53 Days in cells; 60, Price per kg; $22-28, Yield per 30m bed;$ 660-$840AUD (3 cuts averaging 10kg /bed )
Direct Sown: 6 rows 12cm per bed spaced every 12cm on the row
JANG seeder: F-24, 14F-9B, no-brush 0
Transplanted: 5 rows 5cm, spaced every 15cm on the row.
FERTILISING: Spinach will do great in beds that were previously amended with compost and fertilized with a mix of alfalfa meal (2-0-2) and pelleted chicken manure (5-3-2).
IRRIGATION: Irrigation Type; Drip tape (4 per bed) or sprinkler
Irrigation Management;Root depth: Shallow (15-60cm)
General: Keep evenly moist to forestall bolting.
IMPLANTATION: Because spinach doesn’t do well in hot temperatures, we only grow it towards the tail end of the summer and all through autumn and winter. We use a cut and come again strategy where we only harvest the large outer leaves of each plant over many weeks. To ensure a continuous supply, we stagger our planting to transition from the field to winter greenhouse, planting enough beds to supply our weekly sales targets.
Rotary harrow; Start of season we use a power harrow, during the season use a Tilther
75cm bed prep rake
Direct Seeding; Jang seeder + F24 roller, 5 tubes for the rake, scale, notepad and your seeds
Transplanting; Popping tray and marking roller.
Remove tarp and clean out large debris. Use the rake if needed. *
Uniformly apply amendments and pass with the rotary harrow at a depth of 5cm. To make transplanting easier (seeing as the soil is loose after being harrowed), we only prepare the beds when we are about to transplant.
Pass with the dibbler-roller to mark the planting holes and bring out the well-watered trays.
Once the beds are ready, 2 people begin to drop seedlings while another person starts to plant. Use the popping tray to facilitate extraction. 3 people/30m bed is a good ratio for efficient workflow.
Install irrigation and water until the soil is deeply moistened.
* If the previous crop is too well established, or if the bed is too messy, mow the crop
as low as possible and harrow at a depth of 5cm. Add 2.5cm of compost evenly spread on the whole width of the bed and transplant into compost following a no-till strategy.
DIRECT SEEDING ITINERARY:
Remove tarp and clean out large debris. Use the rake if needed.*
Uniformly apply amendments and pass with the rotary harrow at a depth of 4cm. Use the rake to remove debris if needed. Otherwise, the bed is ready to be seeded.
Seed with the Jang, writing down the total amount of seed dropped onto the first bed and comparing with the target. Adjust calibration if required.
Install irrigation and water until the soil is deeply moistened. Keep moist for the next 7,10 days until all seeds have germinated.
Start some extra seedlings in the greenhouse to fill in the holes on the beds. These should be started in the same week as when the direct seeding is done.
Spinach seed is short-lived. For optimal germination, start with a new seed each year.
*If the previous crop is too well established, or if the bed is too messy, mow the previous crop as low as possible, harrow the beds at a depth of 5cm and rake it clean. Add 2.5cm of compost on the bed and level well using the back of the rake to get the same thickness across the whole width of the bed. Seed directly into compost following a no-till strategy
NOTES FOR OVERWINTERING SPINACH:
Plant growth almost stops when daylight is less than 10 hours per day. Research when this happens in your region and schedule planting in order to have 4-5 true leaves on your plants before this point.
In our southern area, plants need to be established by early May. If direct seeding, an April seeding date is required. However, germination can be poor in tunnels with warm soil temperatures 21C. Transplanting seedlings instead of direct seeding can help mitigate this risk, and ensures a good stand for winter production.
Total highest yields (autumn through spring) will be obtained by the earliest autumn planting
dates, primarily due to higher fall production. Spring-only yields (July-October) are less affected by autumn planting date.
WEEDING: Spinach is cultivated using the flex tine weeder 10 days after the transplant (14 days when direct sowed) and again 7 days later..
PLANT PROTECTION: Downy mildew is a common condition favoured by the cool, moist conditions in the winter greenhouses. Relying on mildew-resistant varieties is your best bet. Once infected, there is little that can be done.
Spinach is harvested in the fields in a kneeling position.
Harvest by removing only the outer leaves, and not the center leaves. This will allow
the plant to keep producing.
Harvest the leaves that are 7-10cm long . They should be dark green and free from any white mould or yellowing.
Make sure to pick using both hands, carrying as many leaves as possible before dropping into the harvest containers.
1 person should harvest 40kg per hour.
Spinach is washed by quickly dunking leaves in a Bubbler filled with cold water.
Make sure to sanitize all the surface areas that come in contact with the spinach.
Do not leave greens for longer than 1 minute in water. Leaves tend to get waterlogged after a few minutes, which make them deteriorate faster.
Spin dry the spinach and pack in sealed plastic bags or storage totes
1 person should clean at least 50kg per hour.
STORING: Spinach is stored in cold room kept at 2C and should not stay longer than 3days before being sold.
* Based on excerpts from: ‘The Market Garderer’s Masterclass’; (JM Fortier)
SOWING DATES: Spinach germinates best in cool soil. Begin sowing in early spring as soon as the ground can be worked. Summer sowing in soil over 30C risks low or erratic germination. If sowing has to be done during warmer weather, irrigating can help cool the soil and improve germination. Sow in mid to late summer for a autumn harvest. Spinach can also be planted from late summer until freeze-up in protected structures for autumn, winter, and spring harvest. Using floating row covers offers additional winter protection.
PLANTING AND HARVEST: For baby leaf: Sow in a 5-10cm wide band, 7-10cm apart, about 40 seeds/30cm Clip small leaves in 3-5 weeks, depending on time of year and speed of growth. Triple-rinse leaves, sort out cut and broken leaves, and package. For a continuous supply, sow every 7 days. For bunching and full size: Sow 10 seeds/30cm, 12mm deep, rows 30-45cm apart. Harvest spinach full size but before bolting, cutting just below root attachment for “rooted spinach”, or cut higher for “clipped spinach”.
STORAGE: Store at 0C and 95% relative humidity for 10-14 days.
AVG. DIRECT SEEDING RATE: For full-size leaves: 10,000seeds/300metres, 290,000/acre at 10 seeds/30cm in rows 30-45cm apart. For baby leaf: 1,000seeds/8m, 25,000/40metres, 1.2million seeds/acre at 40 seeds/30cm in rows 35cm apart.
SEED SPECS: Seeds/500g: 26,000-45,800 (avg. 39,500).