L’Garden orach (Atriplex hortensis), called among others love cabbage or beautiful ladyis a herbaceous plant of the family Chenopodiaceae. It is grown in the garden as a vegetable plant because its edible leaves are delicious. Their taste is very close to that of spinach, which is why it is also called fake spinach. Much easier to cultivate than the latter, Orroche stands out for its résistance. Let’s see how to sow and grow this famous love cabbage that requires little maintenance and fears neither pests nor diseases.
You can start sowing false spinach in March, and the sowing period can extend until August. In a mild climate, garden orache is sown until autumn. It is recommended to stagger false spinach sowing to take advantage of a long harvest period, that is to say from spring until the first fall frosts.
We start by preparing the land thanks to a hoeing then we bring a moderate amount of mature compost, which will be more than enough to meet the needs during the year. You must then:
- Draw furrows separated from each other by 40 cm,
- Sow in pockets of 3 seeds every 35 to 40 cm,
- Cover the seeds with a small mm of soil only,
- Water in fine rain.
The rising time is quite short, about fifteen days on average. Now is the time to move onthinning, in order to keep only the most vigorous seedlings and to leave them enough space, that is to say 40 cm in all directions. No need to transplant.
The garden orache loves deep, cool, well-drained, moderately rich soils. The germination temperature is between 15 and 28°C. This plant likes the sun. However, in this period when we are suffering from increasingly intense heat and episodes of drought, the frequency and duration of which are constantly increasing, gardeners have every interest in adapting their cultivation method to these climatic conditions. a bit special. It is therefore preferable that the false spinach – which usually likes to be in the sun – is installed in partial shade in the regions of southern France but not only because the hot weather is everywhere now. You should know that this plant may be tolerant, it does not resist more than 30°C and drought, when it persists, could be fatal to it.
You can grow various orroche varietiesto know :
- L’Arroche blonde, recognizable by its light green foliage tending towards yellow. It is distinguished from other oraches by its taste, unquestionably the most pronounced.
- L’red orach, whose beautiful copper-pink leaves are as decorative as they are delicious. In addition, they are well endowed with minerals.
- L’Arroche pourswith dark green leaves that have the shape of a spearhead (we therefore say that the leaves are haste), and which is none other than the original Arroche variety.
Note that red orach is the variety that can be harvested the fastest, the other two being a little less vigorous, they need more time to reach maturity. But all are interesting to cultivate in the vegetable garden.
Maintain the Arroche
The false spinach poses no difficulty in cultivation. You just have to respect the following points.
It is recommended not to skimp on watering, especially in times of drought or hot weather. In addition, regular watering is essential to prevent orache from bolting quickly. The gardener must therefore water it frequently but moderately.
It is not necessary to add fertilizer during cultivation. A light amendment before sowing is sufficient for the year.
It is essential to hoe often the rows of Arroche during the first weeks following the emergence of the seeds in order to weed carefully. Thereafter, the ideal is to put a mulch.
Experienced gardeners strongly recommend that beginners mulch the base of false spinach plants. This allows tosave water. The process evaporation being limited, the ground stays cool longer. Valuable time is also saved since the mulch prevents unwanted weeds (weeds) from growing. This avoids having to use herbicides when you don’t have time to weed…
When the plant reaches 30 cm in height, it is necessary to pinch the stems in order to promote their branching.
Moreover, if one wishes avoid bolting, just cut short the stems that bear the flowers. The flowering of Orroche takes place from June to September and is followed by the production of numerous seeds. These are formed all the more quickly as the summer heat is high. Thus the plant reseeds itself naturally. But the formation of seeds can be particularly early if care is not taken to water the Orache very regularly in the summer. The other advantage and not the least is that the removal of flower stalks promotes leaf formation.
You should know that orroche reseeds itself easily spontaneously as soon as it is allowed to go to seed, and can quickly turn out to be very invasive. It is therefore important to keep an eye on it in order to act early enough. Indeed, if you don’t want to collect the Orache seeds to sow them later or simply let nature take its course, there’s no need for the plant to tire itself out forming fruits. We then simply pinch the end of the stems to prevent flowering. At the same time, the edible leaves will be more numerous but also larger.
Pests and diseases
apart from gastropodsthat is to say the slugs and snails very fond of the tender young leaves of orache, only the Casside nebuleuse may be a concern if it infests this plant. In fact, it is the phytophagous larvae of this beetle that gnaw the underside of orache leaves. In the event of an attack, it is crucial to eliminate all the leaves concerned and then to burn them. Above all, they should not be left at the foot of the plants because these parasites would hibernate in the garden and reinfest the crops afterwards.
This plant is not affected by other pests, nor is it susceptible to diseases.
Collect the leaves of the Orroche
We harvest the leaves of the false spinach as needed in order to eat them fresh, preferably just after harvest because their shelf life is extremely short. At most, they can be kept for a few hours provided they are placed in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator. The best time to harvest is very early in the morning.
They are delicious floodsin a salad, or cooked like spinach. It is common to mix orach leaves with those of sorrel whose acidity does not please everyone. In this way, we obtain a culinary preparation with a sweet flavor, very pleasant. For enjoy it for a good part of the yearso don’t hesitate to sow garden orache at different times since once harvested, its leaves don’t keep.