Best Way To Grow Spinach

Best Way To Grow Spinach

Emma DowneyByEmma Downey
Updated on 10/4/2022

Spinach Seedlings, Growing Plants, and Finished Product

Spinach is a common crop that may be sown in the very early spring, as well as in the fall and even in winter in some locations. Spinach is a leafy green that is quite resistant to cold temperatures. Find out more about planting and cultivating nutritious spinach in your own backyard garden by reading the information provided.

Regarding Spinach

Although it must be grown during the incredible season and meet the exact requirements of lettuce, spinach is more adaptable than lettuce in terms of both its nutritional profile and its consumption method (raw or cooked). It is one of the best sources of vitamins A, B, and C and has significantly more iron, calcium, and vitamins than the majority of the cultivated greens.

PLANTING

Spinach

Compost should be worked into the soil approximately a week before planting spinach, as the plant may thrive in either full sun or soft shade. Alternately, you can prepare the ground in the late summer or early fall, which is the time of year when spinach can be sown in climates with moderate winters.

When Should Spinach Seeds Be Planted?

  • Since spinach needs a total of six weeks of cool weather from the time it is necessary until it is harvested, the seeds should be sown straight into the soil as soon as the temperature reaches 40 degrees. (To hasten the process of the soil warming up, cover it with black plastic.)
  • It is possible to germinate seeds indoors; however, doing so is not encouraged due to the fact that seedlings are difficult to transplant.
  • When planted in the late summer or early fall, spinach can be harvested in early spring in northern regions. This allows gardeners to get an early start on their planting season. During the winter, shield the young plants from the cold with a cold frame or a thick layer of mulch; in the spring, when the soil temperature in your region reaches 40 degrees Fahrenheit, remove the shielding. After harvesting some spinach, remove the mulch and reapply it after you're done.
  • Planting radish seeds in alternate rows is an effective method for diverting leaf miners. Radish tops can be mined by leaf miners without the damage affecting the growth of the roots.
  • In the middle of summer, spinach plants cannot survive. (For a harvest throughout the summer, try growing New Zealand Spinach or Malabar Spinach, two varieties of leafy greens that can better withstand high temperatures.)
  • Midway through the month of August, when the temperature of the soil is no more than 70 degrees Fahrenheit, sow new seeds in order to get a harvest in the fall.

Spinach

How to Get Spinach to Grow

  • Plant seeds at a depth of one-half of an inch every two inches and cover them with one-half of an inch of dirt.
  • Plant in rows with a spacing of 12 to 18 inches between them, or scatter in a large row or bed.
  • Plant new seeds every two to four weeks beginning in early spring for a yield that lasts all season.

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GROWING

  • Be sure to give spinach plenty of water to maintain consistently moist soil.
  • Make use of row coverings to keep the soil cool and to ward off pests.
  • When the seedlings have reached a height of about 2 inches, you should thin them out so that they are 3 to 4 inches apart. You are free to consume the trimmings.
  • There is no cultivation required other than the thinning process. The roots are not very deep and are readily destroyed.
  • Maintain a consistent moisture level by mulching and watering.
  • Side-dress the plants with a high-nitrogen fertilizer whenever necessary when they reach the one-third mark of their growth. Leaves that are yellow or pale in color, change that is stunted or deformed, a purpling or bronzing of the leaves, leaves falling off prematurely, and other symptoms might be caused by nutrient deficiencies.
  • Spinach is hardy enough to withstand frost and temperatures as low as 15 degrees Fahrenheit (-9 degrees Celsius) when grown in the early spring and late fall. (Be sure to check the local frost dates.) Young spinach is more delicate than older spinach; cover it if chilly temperatures are expected.

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There are four primary varieties of spinach that are ideal for growing in the spring or fall.

  • Spinach grown in the baby-leaf form has soft leaves of a smaller size. The type is known as 'Baby's Leaf' and works well in containers, while the 'Catalina' variant can withstand high temperatures and is resistant to downy mildew.
  • The leaves of Savoy spinach, sometimes known as 'Bloomsdale,' are wrinkled, curled, and a dark green color. The 'Winter Bloomsdale' cultivar features crinkled leaves and is resistant to mosaic viruses. It is grown in the fall.
  • The leaves of a Semi-Savoy have a mild wrinkle to them, and the plant itself can be challenging to seed. 'Melody' is resistant to cucumber mosaic virus as well as downy mildew; 'Remington,' which is also resistant to downy mildew, can be grown in the spring, summer, or fall; and 'Tyee,' which is resistant to downy mildew and can be planted in either the spring or fall.
  • The leaves of smooth- or flat-leaf kinds, sometimes referred to as plain-leaf varieties, are spade-shaped. The conventional type known as 'Giant Nobel' has simple leaves and is slow to bolt, but the variation known as 'Nordic IV' is resistant to bolting.
  • Both Malabar Spinach (Basella alba), which is a vine, and New Zealand Spinach (Tetragonia tetragonoides), which is a perennial, are heat-tolerant leafy greens that look pretty similar to spinach. Both of these greens can withstand high temperatures. Cultivate them in the summer, when regular spinach can't survive the heat of the season.

Spinach

HARVESTING

  • When the leaves have reached the proper size, either harvest a couple of the outer leaves from each plant (so that the inner leaves can continue to develop) or harvest the entire plant by cutting the stem at the base.
  • Do not delay harvesting for an excessive amount of time or wait for the leaves to get larger. After reaching maturity, there will be a rapid onset of bitterness. Be mindful of the duration of the day and the temperature: Increasing daylight (approximately 14 hours or longer) and warmer seasonal temperatures can lead spinach to bolt (grow a giant stem with narrower leaves and buds/flowers/seeds), which results in a bitter taste in the leaf. This can also cause the spinach to become less nutritious.
  • If the spinach plant begins to produce flowers, pull it up and eat the leaves. You might also try to prevent the plant from bolting by removing the flower and seed heads, maintaining wet soil, and shading it.

How to Properly Preserve Spinach

Spinach

The shelf life of fresh spinach leaves is around one week. Its demise can be hastened by an excessive amount of dampness. Therefore, store fresh spinach without washing it, and wait to clean it right before using it. After drying with paper towels, place the items in a freezer bag together with the paper towels so that the moisture can be absorbed.

Because it has such a limited shelf life, spinach is excellent for being frozen. Blanch the vegetables, then wash, clip off the ends and any leaves that have turned yellow, and put them into freezer bags. Learn how to store spinach in the freezer.

WISDOM AND CREATIVITY

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  • According to phenology, which is the study of indications, spinach should be planted when crocuses are in flower.
  • In a similar vein, traditional farmers in regions where lilacs thrive recommend planting spinach when the first lilac leaves have emerged.
  • To make efficient use of the space in your garden and to ensure that you have a crop of leafy greens ready to cover the barren places left by deadheading spring blooms, scatter seeds of spinach, or lettuce around the budding leaves of your bulb plants.

PESTS/DISEASES

Pests and diseases that affect spinach

Spinach

Pest/DiseaseType Symptoms Control/Prevention
AphidsInsectLeaves that are misshapen and yellow; sticky "honeydew" (excrement); sooty, black mold Insect-relatedDevelop symbiotic relationships with other plant species, spray plants with water, treat with insecticidal soap, and mulch with banana and orange peels. Swab the leaves with a solution containing one to two percent dish soap (no additives) and water every two to three days for a period of two weeks; Include native plants in your garden to attract good bugs.
Downy mildewFungusAngular yellow dots on the upper surfaces of the leaves eventually turn brown; white, purple, and grey cottony growth only on the undersides of the leaves. leaves that have been warped; defoliation Remove plant detritus; pick resistant cultivars; provide optimum air circulation; avoid overhead watering
Leaf minersInsectTunneling larvae are the cause of the meandering blisters found on leaves.Take off any leaves that have been infected, weed carefully, and use row coverings. early in the season, plow the soil; rotate crops
leaf spots (Cercosporafungus The fungus caused by the leaf spot (Cercospora) many little brown dots with red-purple halos on leaves that develop and turn grey; eventually, the centers of the sites fall out, leaving just the halos.Eliminate sick plants and weeds, do not water from overhead and make sure there is adequate air circulation. rotate crops
The spinach disease (mosaic virus)VirusSymptoms can vary from plant to plant but may include stunting, a mottled pattern of green, yellow, and white, or ringed dots on the leaves; uneven development of the leaf. Eliminate diseased plants, select resistant types, and seed that has been tested and certified to be virus-free, use row covers, disinfect tools, weed, manage aphids, and mulch.
White rustFungus White rust Fungus Chalky-white blisters located primarily on the undersides of leaves; small, yellow-green spots or blisters found on the upper leaf surfaces, sometimes arranged in a circular pattern; potential deformation or galls; Infection might also occur in the stems. Eliminate plants that have been infected, select kinds that are resistant to the disease, pull weeds, eradicate crop residue, and rotate crops.

Spinach

RECIPES

PASTA SALAD WITH SPINACH AND ARTICHOKES

SPINACH-STUFFED TOMATOES

CHICKEN SPINACH SALAD WITH ORANGES, DATES, AND GOAT CHEESE

SPINACH LASAGNA

CHICKEN BREASTS that have been stuffed with spinach and cheese

COOKING NOTES

Spinach

  • A little bit of baking soda added to the cooking water makes the spinach more vibrant in color.
  • Before making use of spinach that has been wilted, give it a quick refresh by submerging it in a bowl of ice water for a few minutes.
  • Although spinach improves mental performance, it may reduce the body's ability to absorb iron. Eat spinach with orange slices to strengthen your body's ability to absorb the iron in the spinach.
  • Raw, young spinach is ideal for use in salads and smoothies, while spinach that has had more time to develop its flavor is delicious when sautéed in olive oil that has been heated to a high temperature.
  • Embrace the dark, lush greens in your diet! Find out more about the positive effects that becoming green can have on your health!