This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
This plant is a native of New Zealand and the South Sea, and was introduced into Europe by Sir J. Banks in 1772. Captain Cook, in the relation of his voyage around the world, mentions it as a good vegetable, and a powerful anti-scurvy remedy.
Its cultivation consists in sowing the seed early in spring or late in the fell, (the seeds will not be damaged by the frost, and will do better than those sown in spring,) in hills, from four to five feet apart, situated, if possible, in a warm and dry soil. One spadeful of rotten dung must be put into each hill. Four or five seeds will be enough. When they get to be strong enough they should be thinned to one or two plants in each hill. They will cover the ground in a short time.
I have no doubt this vegetable will be of great value in the Southern States as a summer green.
[We have often wondered why this spinach is not more commonly grown, especially as a summer and fall crop. Though not quite as good as the common spinach, still it is a nice green, is easily grown, and may be picked during all the summer and fall. It will sow itself when once introduced, and allowed to ripen its seed. It is a trailing plant, and the ends of the shoots and the young leaves are the parts used. We hope some of our readers will try it. If planted in spring, the seed should be soaked about twenty-four hours in warm water. - Ed].