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Growing Spinach

Spinach plants are very hardy and can tolerate cold; in fact, spinach thrives in cold weather. Heat and long days make spinach bolt (go to seed) quickly. Spinach grows well in the winter in the South, and in early spring and late summer in the North. Plant spinach about four weeks before the average date of last frost.

Spinach tolerates partial shade and requires well-drained soil that's rich in organic matter. Spinach does not like acid soil.

Baked spinach balls
Spinach is the star of baked spinach balls.

The plant is grown from seed clusters that each produce several seedlings. Spinach must be thinned when the seedlings appear. Plant spinach seed clusters 1/2 inch deep and 2 to 4 inches apart. When the seedlings are large enough to handle, thin them to leave the strongest seedling from each cluster.

Spinach does best when the soil is kept uniformly moist. Try not to splash muddy water on the leaves, which will make the spinach difficult to clean after harvesting. Mulch to retain moisture and avoid getting soil on the leaves.

Harvesting Spinach

The time from planting to harvest is 40 to 45 days. To harvest, either pick the out-side leaves periodically or pull up the entire plant.

Types of Spinach
  • Melody Hybrid, harvest at 42 days, is an All America Selection that gives semierect plants with dark green leaves.
  • Bloomsdale Long-Standing, harvest at 48 days, produces thick-textured, crinkled, dark green leaves.
  • Renegade, harvest at 30 days, matures early and is compact and mildew resistant.
In the next section, we'll teach you how to select and serve your home-grown spinach.

Want even more information about growing spinach? Try these links: