How to grow spinach in your garden or farm
Ready to grow a superfood loaded with tons of minerals and nutrients? Spinach is great for hair, eyes, skin, bone, and brain health. It’s a vegetable packed with vitamins, proteins, and iron. This delicious green vegetable is easy to grow without much of a stretch.
- Genus: Spinach
- Plant type: Spinacia Oleracea
- Height: 4 to 6 inches (10.16 to 15.24 cm)
- Width: 6 to 12 inches (15.24 to 30.48 cm)
- Leaves: Leafy herbaceous
- Flowers: Chenopodiaceae, inconspicuous yellow-green
- Cotyledon: Form with two green radicles divided into a large area of plants
- Propagation: Seed germination
- Water Requirement: Needs watering daily
- Harvest Time: 37 to 45 days
Spinach is high in Folate, vitamin A, C, K, and beta-carotene. It also contains calcium and is a superb antioxidant as well. Spinach is eaten by many people because it helps to reduce cholesterol, the risk of cancer, and heart disease.
Spinach is a very nutritious and tasty vegetable. It is an amazing source of getting a bunch of vital vitamins and one of the healthiest ways to increase immunity. Those green spinach leaves can be consumed in a variety of ways. Frozen, fresh, canned, chipped, and even dehydrated, spinach is a go-to veggie for many a chef.
Grow thriving and healthy spinach
Spinach is a palatable, cold hardy, and nutritional powerhouse that makes it a more valuable addition to your edible garden. Spinach can survive temperatures as low as 18° Fahrenheit (-7.77° C) with protection, making it easy to grow during winter days.
If you are to grow spinach, then you must consider the right time to seed and harvest. Spinach leaves are more tender and sweeter, when grown during the cold season. If spinach is planted early in the spring and the weather warms rapidly, the plants will take time to grow. Comparatively, it grows much quicker in cool weather. So, plant in fall, and leave the summer for crops that thrive in heat.
If you are a novice home gardener or farmer and you are considering vegetable gardening, then you can kickstart your endeavors with growing organic spinach. Growing organic spinach in a home garden or farm may seem challenging initially, especially for beginners, because germinating seeds may seem daunting.
However, following these steps to grow spinach should see you through to achieving success and the prospect of a good harvest.
Let’s start cultivating
Step 1: Season
Spinach is a cool-season crop. While it can thrive all year round if summer temperatures aren’t too high, fall is best when temperatures are dropping. Of course, during hot days, you can help spinach plants along by providing them adequate shade, so they are not in direct sunlight.
Step 2: Location
The good news is that spinach seeds germinate quite easily. If the soil-mix and planting bed has rich organic matter (like compost), you do not need to use fertilizer. That’s the organic way to do it. Just make sure that the planting bed is well drained.
Step 3: Sunlight
Light sunshine (preferably partially shaded) for 7 to 9 hours every day is enough for a healthy spinach crop. Excessive sunlight can either damage them or prompt them to bolt (begin to produce seed). If you are planting a spinach crop in summer, be sure your spinach bed remains shaded during the hottest parts of the day.
Step 4: Spacing
Make ½ inch holes in the planting bed to sow spinach seeds. Fully grown spinach plants can become bushy, so adequate space is required. Plant your seeds at least three to four inches apart so that the germinating saplings do not fight each other for space above or below ground.
Step 5: Procuring seeds
Always buy fresh and high quality organically produced seeds to grow spinach. Spinach does not store well, so always be sure to get fresh seeds each year. Alternatively, you can grow a batch specifically for seeds, which you can store securely.
You can purchase spinach seeds from your nearest nursery, supply stores or you can order online from some suppliers.
Step 6: Prepare the soil
Spinach grows well in areas with adequate sun and good drainage. Loamy soil with plenty of organic nutrients is good for growing spinach. Prepare the soil by adding organic compost or well-aged manure, before planting seeds.
Step 7: Planting
Spinach seeds can be planted directly in the prepared soil, as opposed to growing indoors and transplanting later. However, spinach seeds can be propagated indoors, but it is not usually recommended because spinach saplings can be tough to transplant.
- Sow the seeds about ½ inch deep and cover lightly with soil. Sow seeds heavily since spinach seeds tend to have approximately 80% germination rate (sometimes lower).
- Seeds will germinate in 7 to 10 days if the weather is not yet extremely cold (highest germination rates occur at about 68° F (20° C).
- Water the seeded beds lightly and daily for better germination rates
Step 8: Watering
Regular watering is essential for growing spinach. Spinach is a leafy plant and requires lots of water to thrive. Ideally, water daily.
Step 9: Mulching
Maintaining moist soil is important while growing spinach. Mulching can help prevent weeds and keep the soil moist at the same time.
Step 10: Diseases and pests
Spinach is a fairly hardy plant and resistant to most disease and pests. Leaf miners are the most common pests you might notice while growing spinach in your garden.
Leaf miner larvae can burrow inside the spinach leaves and develop tan patches. You could keep your spinach crops covered with a floating row cover to mitigate against leaf miner issues.
Step 11: Harvesting
This is the fun part where you get to harvest your grown spinach plants. Depending on the spinach variety you can harvest anywhere after 7 to 9 weeks of planting. You should only harvest spinach leaves when they reach a desired size (observe when they cease to grow), it will help the plant’s productivity as well. Keep in mind not to wait too long to harvest because mature leaves will quickly become bitter. Usually, farmers advice harvesting spinach once the outer leaves have grown to 6 in (15.24 cm).