There are few leafy greens that do well in the South in our summer heat; like Malabar spinach, New Zealand spinach is not a true spinach, but fills the bill neatly. Its leaves and shoot tips taste like a mild spinach when eaten raw or cooked.
• More detailed information can be found in The Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Book by Walter Reeves and Felder Rushing
New Zealand spinach is a small, 1-2 foot, bushy, heat-resistant summer plant grown from seed planted after the spring soil has warm up. Soak seed in warm water overnight before planting to aid germination, and space plants 12 to 18 inches apart in a sunny bed rich in organic matter. Each plant will grow rapidly with many branches, and as it grows its tender shoot tips can be harvested; new growth will arise from the cut branches. Some gardeners and commercial growers cut entire plants off near the ground; new growth from the cut stem base will produce a later crop that is bothered by few pests.