How & When To Plant Spinach: Varieties, Tips, & FAQ
Spinach is a tasty, nutritious vegetable that’s not too difficult to grow and everyone should be able to grow it without much effort. Of course, it’s much easier to do so when you know tips and tricks regarding how and when to plant it.
If you’re considering planting spinach, but would like to know more about the process, read the rest of the article. We will mention essential points that will help you to grow spinach successfully.
Is it easy to grow spinach?
Growing spinach is pretty easy if you know what you are doing. It’s a fast-growing, cool-season plant containing valuable nutrients and vitamins, perfect for cooking and making salads. Since it grows pretty fast, you should be able to harvest it in about a month after planting, depending on the variety.
Spinach types and popular varieties
There are various spinach varieties with different looks and tastes. Typically, spinach leaves are smooth and can be in all shades of green. There are three main spinach types:
Some of the most popular spinach varieties are:
What’s the best time to plant spinach?
The planting time depends on whether your spinach variety is summer or winter type. Typically, spinach needs around 6 weeks of cold weather from planting to harvest, and you can sow it as soon as the ground temperature reaches 40°F.
It’s best to plant summer varieties every couple of weeks, keeping them protected from February and unprotected from March to May.
When it comes to winter varieties, it’s best to plant them in late summer (preferably August) and early fall (preferably September.)
The first step in the spinach growing process is to plant the seeds. Before the beginning, you should try to make your soil richer with nutrients. It would be helpful to compost the area before sowing to ensure the quality and tastiness of your spinach. Depending on your options and available space, you can grow it both indoors and outdoors.
Either sow the seeds outdoors or in containers and pots. If you’re planting them outside, space the seeds 1 foot apart and plant them in 1-inch holes to allow the spinach to grow undisturbed.
If you decide to grow spinach indoors, it’s best to plant them in the fall and place them on a windowsill. That way, they will get enough sunlight, although you can also plant them in spring, which will require you to provide the plants with enough shade. When placing spinach in pots to grow it indoors, sow it in a 6-inch deep pot and place the seeds ½ an inch under the soil.
For your spinach to grow and be healthy, you must meet certain environmental criteria that suit this vegetable. Below, you can see the perfect soil, light, water, temperature, and fertilization requirements for growing spinach.
Once you plant the spinach, you should provide enough care and maintenance for it to grow well. Compost tea and fish emulsions are the best for this plant as they will promote growth and enhance flavor.
Many people who grow spinach tend to have issues with weeds, which you can avoid by placing a mulch of grass clippings, hay, or straw. If the temperatures in your area go over 80°F, you should cover the spinach with shade cloth to prevent the soil from drying out.
Another important thing is to protect your spinach from pests and diseases, which are common issues when growing this vegetable.
How long does spinach take to grow?
Typically, you can harvest most spinach varieties 6–10 weeks after planting them. Most people harvest summer spinach varieties from May to October, while they harvest winter varieties from October to April. Of course, you should be on the lookout and regularly check your spinach as it can grow faster in warm temperatures.
Your spinach will be harvest-ready pretty quickly if you follow all the guidelines in the article. Once the spinach leaves are large enough to pick, you can continually harvest them. You will gain more product by trimming off individual leaves and harvesting only mature ones while leaving the young ones to keep growing. You can also cut the whole plant, just 1 inch above the crown, which will allow it to gain new leaves.
Harvest time for summer spinach varieties: May to October
Harvest time for winter spinach varieties: October to April
After the harvest, you can finally enjoy the fruits of your labor. There are tons of different recipes where you can include spinach while feeling proud of all the hard work you’ve put into the whole growing process!
Is spinach prone to pests and diseases?
Although there are many durable spinach varieties, most of them are prone to pests and diseases, so you should be on the lookout and maintain your spinach healthy.
Some of the most common pests that attack spinach are:
Pests are typically easy to get rid of, and they shouldn’t cause a lot of trouble. Diseases are more dangerous so you should know how to recognize them. The most common spinach diseases are:
- Downy mildew
- Root rot
Most of these problems occur due to environmental conditions and issues when growing the plant. Still, if you follow the given instructions, your spinach will undoubtedly be both healthy and flavorful.
Spinach is a low-maintenance, delicious vegetable, so everyone who likes to eat it should try to grow it at home. By following some simple tips, tricks, and guidelines, you can successfully grow tasty spinach that you and your family will love eating. Don’t forget to read out guidelines again, and begin your spinach-planting adventure!
Featured Image Credit: vaivirga, Shutterstock