Fruit and Vegetable Gardening A-Z: SpinachA Guide to Gardening, Growing and Harvesting Edibles
-- By Jenny Sigler, SparkPeople Contributor
Spinach is intolerant of heat and "bolts" easily unless you plant specific heat-tolerant varieties. Spinach can be Savoy (curly)-leafed or smooth-leafed and is a delicious additive to soups, sandwiches, smoothies and salads.
5-10 (Find your hardiness zone.)
When to Plant:
Sow seeds 1/2 inch deep directly into the garden in very early spring with successive plantings every few weeks to extend your harvest.
Rich, moisture-retentive soil in full sun to partial shade is ideal, although spinach can grow in almost any soil that is mixed well with generous amounts of compost.
Allow 12 inches between rows and 6 inches between plants.
Being heat-intolerant, spinach can tolerate some shade and actually prefers it in the hottest part of the summer. Apply a nitrogen-rich fertilizer once or twice throughout the season for maximum growth. Weed and water the area well, mulching under the plants to encourage maximum moisture retention.
When to Harvest:
Harvest the outer leaves when they reach your desired size. Harvesting only the outside leaves encourages a steady pattern of growth. Alternatively, you can harvest entire plants at once.
A 6-foot row of spinach will yield 5-6 pounds over a summer.
Difficulty Rating (1-5):