Growing Spinach in your Home Garden
Growing spinach in your home garden is a great way to get healthy, pesticide-free, tender leaves to use in salads, side dishes, and entrees. Eggs Florentine is just one example of a tasty recipe that is most flavorful when homegrown spinach leaves are harvested just before preparing the dish. The leaves provide lots of necessary iron.
It isn’t difficult to grow spinach in your garden plot, whether large or small. It can even be grown in containers on the patio or balcony or indoors using grow lights. You can even enjoy growing spinach in a hydroponic garden.
To start growing spinach, select a location that gets lots of sun if growing in cooler weather. In warm weather, plant in partial shade. Prepare light soil that holds moisture well with a pH of 6.0 – 7.0.
If planting outdoors, amend the soil with cured manure to add nitrogen for leaf production. If planting in commercial planting mix, add manure tea for nitrogen or you can use fish emulsion instead.
Growing spinach from seeds is easy. Just sow them about four weeks after the last frost has passed. Don’t transplant spinach because it will not do well. Seeds should be planted about a one-half inch deep and, if growing spinach in rows, place the rows about two inches apart. To have a continual harvest, sow seeds every 15 days. Continue sowing seeds until late August in cool locals. In a warm area, continue sowing until about 12 weeks before the first frost is expected.
Once the spinach leaves are about four inches in height, thin the plants to about one-half foot apart, using the tiny tender leaves in recipes or salads. Do not allow the spinach to grow in crowds because the plants will seed prematurely, called bolting.
Spinach grows best when the soil is kept moist. Every two weeks, add a manure tea. Once the plants are six inches in height, you should cease adding the nitrogen-rich tea or emulsion.
Mature plants should be mulched to conserve moisture and prevent weeds invading. To deter insects, add floating row covers if growing outdoors.
Spinach growing allows you to continually harvest leaves as needed for use in the kitchen. Cut leaves from the outside of the plant or, if fully mature, remove the entire plant. Ideally, do this before the plants begin the flowering process. If there are any buds appearing, the entire plant should be harvested.
You’ll enjoy growing tasty spinach. The flavor of freshly harvest spinach is wonderful and you’ll find many ways to include your crop in recipes and salads.