We grew two types of spinach next to each other this spring. Bloomsdale Long Standing and Merlo Nero Spinach. We were looking to see if we had a spinach preference. Maybe one would grow better, maybe one would taste better? Maybe one would be less prone to insect attacks.We enjoyed growing our watermelons together last year to pick a favorite. So we hoped to see a big difference. So today I asked Scott while he was harvesting it all what he had to say about the spinach growing experiment. Did he notice a difference? His comments were, “they both grew, they both bolted, and they both taste good.” So there you go folks. The in-depth analysis about the two spinaches.
To be more specific, we planted them from seed on February 27th, and they had already started to bolt when we picked them today, so maturity for both Bloomsdale and Merlo Nero was about 10 weeks for us. Spinach in general likes to grow in cooler weather and I’ve read that it’s best to start it 6 weeks before your first frost in fall and 6 weeks before your last frost in spring. Pretty easy to remember.
When the days get too long in spring, that’s when they start to bolt, which is exactly what’s happened to us. Especially after this past weekend’s heat wave (which hit at the exact same time as last year!) No matter though, we had a good crop. The Bloomsdale spinach was a little less savoyed (or crinkled) than the Merlo Nero and the leaves were also slightly lighter in color and more delicate in nature than the Merlo Nero spinach. The Merlo Nero definately had more heft to the leaves. Maybe you could say that the Merlo Nero spinach is better for cooking and the Bloomsdale is better for fresh salads, but in the end, they are both great spinaches.
We eat a lot of spinach. We heard once that the average American eats about 3lbs of spinach a year and I think we far exceed that in our diet. It’s just so good. You can eat it raw, cooked, braised, pureed into smoothies, wilted in salads, hidden in raviolis… the possibilities are endless. I bet you eat a lot of spinach too. Time to make Spinach & Green Garlic Soup!
Do you have a favorite spinach variety?
11 responses to “Merlo Nero vs. Bloomsdale Spinach”
My spinach is just starting to bolt. I can see it in just a few plants, but we will get a heatwave in a couple of days and that should send the rest of them into bolting. It will be sad to see the end of spinach season. It never lasts long.
We are not big spinach eaters… yet. I like my spinach green. =) Seriously though, we eat many garden ‘weeds’ like lambsquarters and mallow that are tastey and spring/summer long. My arugula has already started to bolt – and we just came out of a 2-day freeze!
The spinach looks tastey though. May need to find some this week.
I’m working on my very first veggie garden this year and I’ve planted spinach as I probably eat close to 3lbs a week! I’m not sure what variety… I don’t even know what bolting is yet. So much to learn!
I just arrived down in Sonoma this past friday so I got to experience the heat wave and oh.my.gosh! I’m here through the end of the month, love, love, love it here so much 🙂 I’m glad it’s cooling off a tad though from this weekend 😉
Carrie, how exciting that you are here in town! Yes this past weekend was crazy hot. Make sure you check out some of the local fare, like Vella cheese and Oak Hill Farms. Read this if you get a chance: https://asonomagarden.wordpress.com/2008/10/16/11-ways-to-eat-locally-in-sonoma/. How long will you be in town?
Thanks for the info! I hit the farmer’s market last night and stocked up on some goodness and ended up making dinner with only the ingredients that I got there, it was lovely!
I am here through the end of next week, I am here house-sitting for my dad and his wife while they are in Alaska. They have kitties that I’m watching over and I brought my 2 dogs down with me. We are having the best time!
I’ve been coming down once or twice per year for about 7 years now and I love it more and more each time. I’m ready to move! My dream would definitely be to live here, have a little farm and grow most of my own food. *le sigh* It was searching around for farming and growing in Sonoma that originally landed me at your blog 🙂
Oh my gosh, I just looked through that post and I think I visited Oak Hill Farm for the first time when I was here this past November over Thanksgiving and I loved it! Thank you for reminding me about it, I am definitely going to be heading there again this week.
And I LOVE the Basque cafe, we pop in there at least two or three times each time I’m here for all kinds of great stuff, usually to grab breakfast or lunch to eat over in the plaza.
I went to Barking Dog this morning for coffee and a pastry too 🙂
Have I mentioned how much I love it here? 😉
ok last comment, I promise… I just keep popping through your links and saw that you designed the labels for Ravenswood?!? Do you know that they are by far my favorite label design of all time? And then I clicked through your portfolio and saw that you did Columbia Winery… I got married there!! It’s one of my faves back home in Western Washington. ok, you’re my new favorite person 🙂
Thanks for all of the great comments Carrie! It certainly is great living in Sonoma, we’ve been here for 7 years, but you better be ready to take last weekends heat more often. Good lord it gets hot in summer! That would be the only reason we would ever move, oh and because the schools aren’t really the best past elementary school. I did redesign the Ravenswood label, but David Lance Goines designed the iconic ravens. I redrew the kangaroos when they did their australian shiraz though. And how great that you got married at Columbia Winery! I was trying to snaggle a trip up there while I was designing their label, but it never happened.
It’s too bad that I didn’t respond to your comment earlier, we could have met at the market last night.
I bought spinach Sunday before last at the Green Gulch Farm that was as pretty as yours. There’s something so satisfying about eating pristine spinach or maybe it’s just that I don’t have to spend a bunch of time washing it. Which is one of my least favorite things to do.
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