We suggest learning how to grow spinach – a vegetable considered a superfood, and one that is rich in nutrients. Spinach helps the body protect itself against cancer, heart disease, weakening bones, age related memory loss, and it aids in strengthening the immune system. Growing spinach is quite simple, as we’ll explain below!
How to Grow Spinach: The Basics: Cooler regions/climates are best for growing spinach. Therefore, it is best to start growing spinach in early spring and late summer. In hot weather, spinach will bolt, and the spinach plant will begin using its energy for reproduction. During bolting, the spinach plant will produce larger stems and smaller, pointed leaves. The older, larger leaves are still fine to eat if picked soon after bolting. If not picked, they will begin to turn yellow, loosing energy required for reproduction.
Preparing the Soil for Spinach: Dig up the soil as soon as the ground can be worked. Add approximately 1 bushel (77.4 pounds) of manure/compost for every 50 square feet of garden. Mix in well so that you have a soil that is high in nitrogen and organic matter. When planning out how to grow spinach, keep in mind that spinach thrives in non-acidic soil (a pH of 6-7.5).
Planting Spinach - When and How Planting spinach can be started as soon as the ground can be worked, or about 4-6 weeks before the last frost. Because spinach does prefer a cooler climate, it can be planted in the shade of other vegetable plants.
Below are the general guidelines for planting spinach: Dig a narrow trench that is half an inch deep, for the length of your row. Space your spinach rows 15 inches apart. Plant spinach seeds about 2 inches apart from each other, and cover with ~1 inch of soil. Once the seedlings grow to the point where the leaves are touching, thin out the spinach so that there is 3-4 inches in between plants. As the spinach plants grow, continue thinning until the plants are about 10 inches apart. Keep in mind that the thinned spinach can be eaten. Multiple plantings (staggered by 2-4 weeks) will provide you with more spinach throughout the growing season. Spinach will usually mature in 40-50 days.
Watering Spinach: Growing spinach requires regular watering (keep the soil moist, but not saturated!). Give your spinach about an inch per week of water. If it looks like your spinach plants are wilting, increase your watering slightly, and see how the plants respond. To help retain moisture in the soil, lay a light layer of mulch around the spinach plants.
Weeding Spinach: Pulling weeds out from around the spinach plants can damage the roots of the spinach, so weed gently. A light layer of mulch around the spinach plants will usually aid in keeping down the weeds.
Harvesting Spinach: Spinach can be harvested as soon as the leaves reach your desired size. To extend your harvesting spinach season, harvest only the more mature outer leaves, and the leave the rest to mature later. If the spinach begins to bolt, harvest the entire crop immediately by cutting each plant at the base.