More on Spinach
Both the University of Arkansas and the North Carolina State University Extension Services have pamphlets on growing spinach available on the Web. The University of Arkansas version is at www.uaex.edu/hort/selveg.htm. North Carolina State University's spinach summary can be found at www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/hil/hil-8017.html.
Favorite or New Plant
Ho Ho Ho Kalanchoe
If my name is on somebody's gift list and it still doesn't have a checkmark next to it, I can always use another kalanchoe. I love these guys because they love me back. Besides putting up with my neglect, they bloom nonstop through February, when my winter-weary spirit is always in need of a pick-me-up.
Tough and resilient, kalanchoes are perhaps the easiest indoor-blooming plants to keep from year to year. Indoors, they're happy with low light and dry soil conditions, so they're easy to please. When mine stop blooming in late winter, I trim them back by half and move them outside to a partly shady spot just as the last frost passes. There they stay until the first fall freeze, when they get to come back inside.
In fact, it's good to let kalanchoes stay outside as long as possible in the fall. Lengthening nights get them in the mood to bloom, so the longer they stay outside, away from lamps, TVs, and other indoor light sources, the better. Even with no special tricks and the same care I'd give a pot of mint, kalanchoes can always be counted on to bloom when the days get short.