Vegetable garden

Baselle: a climbing annual with edible leaves

The baselle in summary:

Latin name : Basella rubra
Common name : Baselle, Malabar spinach
Family : Basellaceae
Type : Leaf vegetable

Height : 1.50 m to 2 m
Planting distance : 40 cm
Exposure : Sunny
Ground : Rich in humus and loose

Planting : March April
Harvest : July to September

The baselle is a climbing annual plant. That it be planted at garden or to vegetable garden, its leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. Originally from Asia and more particularly India, it is also called "Malabar spinach ". Despite its tropical origins, it is quite possible to cultivate it in a temperate climate by respecting a few rules.

Planting the baselle

To flourish, the baselle requires certain cultivation conditions:

  • a soil rich in organic matter (humus) ;
  • a good land furnished ;
  • a location at Sun.

Ground preparation:

If the soil in your garden does not quite meet the ideal conditions to accommodate a base, you will have to do some preparation work the fall before planting:

  1. Make a manure, by spreading compost or well-rotted manure.
  2. Spade the earth on the surface, in order to incorporate the organic matter into it. Prefer the use of a fork-spade to a spade to limit the impact on underground fauna.
  3. In early spring, rework the surface soil for planting.

To know more :

  • How to know the type of soil in your garden?

Planting the baselle:

It must be operated in two stages:

  1. In March-April, conduct a sowing in pots or terrine containing a substrate composed of sand and potting soil. Once done, place your crop away from the cold and the sun (ideal is an indoor window sill).
  2. In May, when the last frosts have passed, transplant the most vigorous plants. To facilitate baselle growth, install a support on which she can climb (stakes, trellis, etc.). Finally, depending on your region and its climate, a culture under a greenhouse may be preferred.

Smart tip : By soaking the seeds in water for a few hours, you will get better germination results.

Culture and maintenance of the baselle

The baselle asks very low maintenance. However, its sensitivity to drought requires watering frequent.

Diseases and pests:

The main enemies of baselle are snails, the slugs and the aphids. They usually attack young leaves. Not only is the plant weakened, but the harvest is also reduced.
In your fight against these pests, favor natural solutions in order to avoid all risks when consuming the leaves.

Harvest and conservation of baselle

Depending on the date of your first sowing, the harvest may begin in the month of July to extend to September. You can pick and eat the leaves, but also the young stems (like chayote).

Once harvested, the leaves can be stored for a few days at fridge.

Baselle in the kitchen

The second name for baselle (Malabar spinach) is no accident. Indeed, the leaves of this climbing plant adapt in the same way; as well floods than cooked. The texture is enough crunchy and slightly viscous.

To give you ideas for preparations:

  • Our spinach-based recipes

Video: Malabar spinach - grow, care u0026 Eat Basella alba (July 2021).