Spinach is one of the healthiest vegetables, supplying high levels of iron, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid and antioxidants. The dark leaves of the spinach plant add great texture and color to many different dishes and fresh, organic spinach tastes great. Spinach is also an easy vegetable to grow in a home garden. Here’s how to grow spinach.
WHEN TO PLANT
Spinach is best if planted 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost of winter. You can start your fall crop 6 to 8 weeks before the first frost of winter. You can grow from seed by sprinkling seeds over your thawing garden bed, as long as the soil has been prepared the previous fall. The seeds will germinate as the soil thaws. Still, best to sow your seeds about ½ inch deep and 3 inches apart as soon as the ground can be worked. Thin the seedlings to 6 to 8 inches apart once they reach about 4 inches tall.
Alternatively, you can buy transplants and space them about 12 inches apart in your garden. Keep the roots and soil moist when transplanting. Try to transplant on an overcast day to avoid drying out the roots. Spinach seedlings like 6 weeks of cool weather from transplant to harvest.
Spinach does best in well-tilled soil with about 8 to 12 inches of depth. Fortify with plenty of organic compost or fertilizer that is rich in nitrogen.
Spinach prefers full sun but partial shade should be fine.
Water every few days. Keep the soil moist but do not over water. Use mulch to retain better moisture.
Spinach does well with nitrogen-rich fertilizer. Fish emulsion works well, but dilute it first. Fertilize every time you thin your crop.
You can harvest spinach as soon as the leaves are large enough to eat. Harvest small leaves to encourage more production before the weather warms. Warm weather can create bitter tasting leaves.