Spinach is grown for its edible leaves that can be used raw in salads or cooked as with other greens. While there are many different spinach varieties that vary greatly in leaf size, shapes and textures with colors ranging from light to dark green it is usually divided into 2 major types: Smooth or Savoy Leaf.
Spinach is harvested by either using the cut and come again method or by cutting down the whole plant.
Growing spinach is best in the early spring and the cool period of the fall as it bolts to seed very quickly in hot weather. For those who would like the taste of spinach all year around click this link for Growing New Zealand Spinach. It is a warm season plant unrelated to true spinach but with a very similar taste.
|Veggie Garden Dairy|
|Also Known As|
|Botanical||Family - Amaranthaceae, Genus - Spinacia, Species - S. oleracea|
|Plant Type||Cool season - annual - leafy vegetable|
|Planting Position||Sunny position but welcomes shade in the hottest part of the season - requiring a minimum of 3-4 hours of direct sunlight daily|
|Seed Viability||3 years|
|Germination||6-10 days at 40-80 F (4-27 C)|
|Growing Temp||50-70 F (10-21 C)|
|Seed to Transplant||Direct sow|
|Planting Method||Direct sow only|
|When to Plant||Spring and again in mid-summer for fall-winter harvest|
|Time to Plant||As soon as 2 - 4 weeks before the average date of the last 32 F (0 C) freeze in the spring in your area but not before soil temperatures are consistently 40 F (4 C) and above.|
|Seed Sowing||Direct sow spinach seeds - 1/2 inch (12 mm) deep - 1inch (25 mm) apart in rows 12-18 inches (30-45 cm) apart|
|Plant Spacing||Transplant or thin spinach seedlings to 2-4 inches (5-10 cm) apart in rows 12-18 inches (30-45 cm) apart|
|Soil Conditions||Well drained - Moderate to high organic matter - Medium fertility|
|Fertilizer||Medium fertilizer needs, 3-4 quarts per 100 sq feet (3.3-4.4 liters per 9.3 square meters) preplanting of All-Purpose 5-5-5 Organic Fertilizer , same rate for each side dressing.|
|When to Fertilize||2 weeks before planting|
|Days to Harvest||40-70 days - depending on conditions and variety|