Growing Spinach

Spinach

Spinach is a fast and easy-to-grow leafy green vegetable that can be grown in potting containers if you are short on space.

Spinach is an annual plant that is native to central and Western Asia.

They prefer cool weather and are frost tolerant allowing them to be transplanted into the soil before most other crops.

PLANTING SPINACH

Spinach is best grown in hardiness zone 5 through 10 in well-drained soil with full sun and a soil pH range of 6.5 through 8.0.

They are best planted 8 to 12 inches apart and each row should be about 12 inches apart and about half of an inch deep.

The seeds can be sprouted in cardboard seed starters indoors 3 – 4 weeks before the last frost and the seed will take between 7 – 10 days to germinate.

If you are short on space then they can be grown in potting containers that can be placed anywhere or they can be put on shepherd’s hooks.

FERTILIZING AND WATERING

Spinach is best fertilized when established with a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10 but a higher nitrogen content such as a 15-10-10 will provide better foliage growth every two weeks.

if you are growing an organic garden then a homemade liquid fertilizer can be used.

They prefer consistently moist soil but not soaked and because they have shallow root systems, they don’t need to be water deep.

BLOOMS

Spinach produces a cluster of red, pink, or white blooms that appear from a thin stem that shoots up from the soil.

Their buds and blooms are edible and often add to a salad.

The term bolting is a term used when a plant goes to seed for the next season and when spinach bolts the leaves become bitter or tasteless.

HARVESTING

Spinach is ready for harvesting in 37 – 45 days after the seeds have been sown into the soil.

For a consistent harvest, it is suggested to resow about every 7 days and the seed can be started indoors using cardboard seed starters.

PROPAGATING

Spinach is an annual plant, therefore propagating them through seed is the only way and some plants should be allowed to go to seed for the following season.

When stored in a cool and dry location the seeds will last for three years, therefore when storing them it is important to add the date.

PESTS

Romaine lettuce has few pests that feed on them but using natural methods such as attracting predators and using natural insecticides such as essential oils, diatomaceous earth, or insecticidal soap will keep your pest control organic.

  • Cutworms
  • Slugs
  • Snails
  • Flea beetles

DISEASES

Romaine lettuce that is planted close together can develop mold and mildew issues during times of high humidity.

If this is the case then preventive measures may need to be taken.

  • Downy mildew
  • Bacterial leaf spot
  • Stemphylium leaf spot
  • Cladosporium leaf spot
  • Damping off
  • Anthracnose
  • Root rot

NUTRITIONAL CONTENT

Spinach is a superfood that is packed with many different antioxidants that protect and reverse cell damage.

When raw they contain 91% water, 2.9 grams of protein, 2.2 grams of fiber, and 3.6 grams of carbohydrates per 3.5 ounces or 100 grams.

VITAMINS

  • Vitamin A
  • Thiamine – Vitamin B1
  • Riboflavin – Vitamin B2
  • Niacin – Vitamin B3
  • Vitamin B6
  • Folate – Vitamin B9
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K

MINERALS

  • Iron
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Sodium
  • Zinc

VARIETIES

Spinach has three different leaf types, leaves with heavy wrinkles, leaves with subtly wrinkles, and flat leaves with no wrinkles.

EMPEROR SPINACH

Emperor spinach has a high resistance to downy mildew.

  • Plant size – grow to about 12 inches tall
  • Foliage – dark green leaves with a semi-savory flavor
  • Days to germinate – 5 to 10 days
  • Days to harvest – about 28 days for mature leaves

GALILEE SPINACH

Galilee spinach is one of the best heat-tolerant varieties available.

  • Plant size – grow to about 24 inches tall
  • Foliage – dark green leaves with a semi-savory flavor
  • Days to germinate – 5 to 10 days
  • Days to harvest – about 35 days for mature leaves

AMERICA SPINACH

America Spinach is an heirloom variety that is slow to bolt, slow growing, drought and heat tolerant and can resist mildew.

  • Plant size – grow to about 8 inches tall and 5 inches wide
  • Foliage – thick dark green leaves with a savory flavor
  • Days to germinate – 5 to 10 days
  • Days to harvest – about 50 days for mature leaves