Welcome to Seed and Harvest

Spinach is a cold-hardy perennial vegetable that can be grown both spring and fall. You can sow seeds directly in the garden or start spinach seedlings indoors six weeks before your last expected frost date.

When planting spinach seedlings, mix a high quality organic seed-starting mix into the soil before planting them approximately half an inch deep in each hole. Water evenly to help the seeds germinate.

Soil Preparation

Spinach seedlings thrive in a rich, nutrient-rich soil that drains well. Before planting, amend the garden bed by adding compost or aged manure and working it in with either a rake or spade. Once ready, sow seeds in rows 4-6 inches apart. After plants have four true leaves, apply nitrogen-rich fertilizer to encourage growth and color in spinach’s dark green leaves.

Spinach can be planted in the fall and protected throughout winter in mild climates. In colder areas, it may need to be grown indoors or covered with plastic over winter to ward off late frosts. When summers are long and hot, spinach makes an excellent crop to plant early spring when temperatures are still cool enough for seeds to germinate.

For successful spinach cultivation, your garden soil must have a neutral pH with an ideal target of 6.0. To amend it with organic materials such as aged compost and shredded leaves, and add light mulch of hay, straw or grass clippings to suppress weeds.

Before planting your spinach plants, loosen the soil to a depth of around 12 inches. Mature spinach plants have an extensive taproot, so this loosening helps prevent compacting and damaging of roots.

Water your spinach crop regularly and gently to ensure it remains moist. Spinach is a thirsty vegetable, and will bolt if the soil becomes dry. When supplemental irrigation is necessary, water beneath the soil rather than directly on its leaves; this helps prevent foliar diseases from developing and promotes a healthy, well-developed crop.

Plant your spinach in either full sun or partial shade, depending on the variety. As this leafy green has a high energy requirement, you may need to provide it with an immediate boost with fertilizer high in nitrogen.

Avoid overcrowding the plants to promote rapid growth and a vigorous crop. Thin seedlings out to about 4-6″ apart once they have two true leaves, then move them further apart until the plants are mature (12″ apart). Fertilize spinach with compost tea or fish emulsion after it has four true leaves have appeared.

Seed Sowing

No matter if you are a novice gardener or an experienced cultivator, it is essential to know how to sow spinach seeds correctly in order for your crop to flourish and remain healthy. Doing this will guarantee optimal success and yield from your bounty.

Seed sowing techniques come with their own advantages and drawbacks; some work better for certain plants than others.

Direct sowing is a method that allows seeds to be dropped directly into the soil, providing equal access to light, nutrients and water. This technique works best for spinach and other leafy veggies as it ensures equal exposure to light, nutrients and water.

Before sowing any seeds, especially spinach which requires a high level of nitrogen, it’s essential to prepare the soil. Dig down to 30cm / 1ft deep and mix in some organic compost before sowing. Additionally, adding some blood, fish and bone per square metre / yard of soil helps boost nutrient levels.

Spinach is an ideal vegetable to have in the garden; it tastes delicious whether fresh or wilted in the pan and can be harvested throughout the year. Growing spinach in containers is also possible since seeds can be planted directly or transplanted elsewhere, and there are various varieties available that meet different needs.

To aid spinach seeds in germinating faster, soak them briefly in water prior to sowing. This process, known as “priming,” will increase your spinach seedling’s germination rate.

Seeds will germinate faster and evenly this way, leading to a healthier crop. You can also plant the seeds indoors in a cold frame or seed tray for an early start and protection from winter weather.

When planting your spinach seedlings, remember to space them evenly and provide ample water. Otherwise, they may become leggy and won’t look their best.

To protect your spinach seedlings from being attacked by slugs and snails, apply a bait before sowing. This will stop them from nibbling at them, giving you an abundance of healthy spinach to enjoy!

Seedling Care

Spinach seedlings are delicate and sensitive, so proper care is key for them to flourish. Fortunately, spinach can be started indoors as early as six weeks prior to the last expected frost date in spring if started from seeds beforehand.

The initial step in seedling care is to prepare the soil for sowing. This includes clearing away any weeds or large rocks/sticks present, amending it with compost or worm castings, and adding an organic fertilizer before sowing seeds.

Once the seeds have germinated, it is essential to water them regularly. Spinach is a cool-season vegetable that requires consistent moisture in order to thrive. Dry soil can encourage pests and mold development as well as making plants more vulnerable to diseases like damping off.

Water your seedlings two to four times a day, depending on how often they dry out. If you’re uncertain how much water your soil requires, use the end of your finger to test the depth with a tiny circle about an inch deep.

Root tips are particularly prone to drying out than leaves since they lack stomata (closeable openings in the leaf surface), so keep them moist by watering frequently. If they appear dry, spray with water or add some moist peat moss to the soil before planting.

Overcrowding will stunt growth and cause your plant to go to seed, so space seedlings four to six inches apart once they have at least two true leaves. If weeds have grown between the rows, spread them out with a light mulch of hay or straw.

When the seedlings are ready to be planted outdoors, they must go through a period of hardening off. This helps acclimate them to outdoor conditions while shielding them from UV rays.

Once the hardening off process is complete, you should transplant your spinach seedlings into larger containers. The size of these will depend on how big and thick the plants are.

Harvesting

Planting spinach seedlings is an ideal way to extend your harvest and make the most of a summer or fall garden. Once established, these plants need minimal care and can be harvested within two or three weeks after establishment.

Spinach seeds should be planted as soon as the ground becomes workable in either spring or fall. Germination requires cool temperatures, so keep the soil temperature below 70 degrees Fahrenheit for six weeks to promote optimal growth.

Once a large rosette of leaves has formed, it’s time to harvest spinach. Leave some outer leaves on each plant until they reach your desired size, or cut off the entire plant for harvesting the entire crop.

In cooler climates, growers often start seeds indoors in late fall to ensure a harvest well into winter if their plants are protected by a cold frame or hoop tunnel. After that, they can be transplanted outdoors in early spring.

If your area experiences a long, cool spring, you can sow spinach seeds every few weeks to keep the plants growing until temperatures warm up. In some places, this strategy will even give you an additional fall crop!

For optimal production, select varieties that are disease-resistant and suitable for your climate. For instance, if you live in an area prone to hot and dry weather, Malabar spinach or New Zealand spinach might be better alternatives than common spinach since these greens are heat tolerant; thus they will withstand intense temperatures without bolting.

To protect the crop from pests, spray neem oil on spinach to deter spider mites and aphids from sucking up plant sap and spreading diseases. You may also want to spray with Bacillus thurigiensis – an effective natural control for caterpillars like cutworms and armyworms.

If you have excess spinach that needs preserving for later, freezing it is an excellent option. This can be accomplished by either boiling or blanching the greens and then placing them into a freezer bag or container for storage.

2024 © Seed and Harvest. All Rights Reserved.