This plant food works in tandem with great soil to help you achieve the best possible spinach harvest.In the spring, plants will grow tall and bloom (called bolting) as soon as the days are longer than 14 hours.Our variety is slow to bolt, which is a real bonus for gardeners who don’t have the luxury of long stretches of mild weather. .
How to Harvest Spinach
Harvesting spinach isn’t that different than picking beet greens, and whether you’re growing this cool season crop in spring or fall, you have a couple of options.On the other hand, if you let your crop mature, you’ll get a larger haul of food from each plant.When to Harvest.Whichever way you prefer to eat your spinach, you’ll need to pick your crop before the plants bolt.Don’t pick more than half of the foliage from the plant at any one time – it needs some leaves for energy production via photosynthesis to continue growing.You can continue to harvest from your spinach plant as you need greens.If you don’t have a large enough harvest from your spinach plants at one time to make a meal, you can always mix them with lettuce for a salad, or other leafy veggies such as kale or swiss chard for sauteed greens.If you choose to allow your spinach crop to mature before harvesting it, you may want to pick the whole head at once.If you want to give it a chance to continue growing, be careful not to cut the crown and instead make your cut an inch or two above soil level. .
How to Plant, Grow, and Harvest Spinach
Spinach doesn’t grow well during long hot summer days or in wet weather.Warm weather and long days will cause spinach to bolt—that is it will flower and go to seed.Spinach grows best when planted outdoors in early spring and then again in autumn.Direct sow spinach outdoors or set out transplants 4 weeks before the last average frost date.Spinach can be grown through the winter everywhere in a cold frame or plastic tunnel.Spinach started in autumn can survive the winter under thick mulch; plants will resume growing in the spring.Remove weak seedlings by cutting them off at the soil level with scissors.Spinach is heat-sensitive; move containers into the shade on warm and hot days.Side dress plants with compost tea or a dilute solution of fish emulsion every two weeks during the growing season.Keep planting beds free of weeds to avoid competition for light, water, and nutrients.Cut weeds at soil level rather than digging them out; spinach has a deep taproot but shallow feeder roots that can be injured easily.Mature spinach plants can tolerate temperatures as cold as 20°F (-6.7°C), but it is best to protect plants from freezing weather by covering the bed with a portable plastic tunnel or row cover.If the weather warms, try protecting spinach under shade cloth set over a frame.Spinach can be attacked by aphids, flea beetles, leafminers, slugs, and spider mites.Floating row covers can exclude leafminer flies from the planting bed.Keep slugs and snails away from spinach by sprinkling a barrier of diatomaceous earth around plants.Mosaic virus will cause leaves to be mottled or streaked white or yellow.Wash spinach thoroughly to eliminate the grit that sometimes sticks to crinkled leaves.‘Bloomsdale Long Standing’ (43 days): crinkled leaves, mosaic virus tolerant.Malabar spinach: vigorous climbing vines; native to tropical Asia and Africa.New Zealand spinach: grows naturally as a trailing ground cover. .
Seed to Store: Harvesting Organic Spinach
Like most of our favorite foods today, we tend to just buy our organic spinach year-round in the grocery store.Packaged spinach has made eating healthy that much more convenient, but we sometimes forget all that goes into getting it from the fields to our favorite grocery store.In the early days of Earthbound Farm, our organic spinach was hand-harvested using a knife—if you grow spinach at home, this is probably how you still do it!About 20 years ago, we started using a big piece of farm equipment called a Baby Greens Harvester.Prior to deciding to harvest, our harvest managers head into our fields to evaluate for quality and readiness.When it’s time to harvest in the summer months, when temperatures in the Salinas Valley can exceed 70-degrees in the afternoon, we start harvesting before sunrise—depending how much organic spinach we’re harvesting that day, we might begin as early as 2 a.m.!Once the Leaves Are Cut.Once we feel confident that we’ve harvested only the highest quality, fresh organic spinach, then we triple-wash it, dry it, package it and send it to grocery stores nationwide. .
How to Grow Spinach from Seed
That’s why spinach is usually grown in early spring and fall, in low temperatures and short days.Most of the spinach varieties we offer are hybrids that mature early and resist bolting.But we also love the open pollinated heirloom Viroflay, which stands apart from the rest for its sheer size.And the leaves stay tender and delicious even when the plant is fully mature.Space is very compact and upright, holding its leaves skyward for easy harvesting.Sow again in the middle two weeks of August for a fall crop that, if cut at the soil level, will come back early the following spring where winters are mild.Thin seedlings, and use cloche protection as cold weather approaches.Late sowings like this can be harvested into December – in mild winters if cloche protection is provided.Dig in ¼-½ cup balanced organic fertilizer beneath every 1m (3′) of row.Individual leaves can be picked at anytime, until the plant has started to bolt.You can kill the little insect causing the damage by pinching it inside the leaf.Downy mildew is a fungal disease that causes greyish mould on the leaves. .
The Ultimate Spinach Growing Guide
Since both hot weather and long days trigger spinach to bolt (send up a seed stalk) quickly, the secret to success with this crop is to start sowing seeds as soon as possible in spring; to make small, frequent plantings during late spring and summer; and to concentrate on fall as the season for the main crop.Planting.Spinach does best when growing in moist, nitrogen-rich soil.Using cold frames or heavyweight row covers, you can grow spinach all winter in many parts of the country.Sow seed heavily, because the germination rate drops to about 50% in warm weather, and water the seed beds frequently — even twice a day — because watering helps to cool the soil.Prevent leafminer problems by keeping your crop covered with floating row cover.Reduce the spread of disease spores by not working around wet plants.In six to eight weeks you can start harvesting from any plant that has at least six three or four inch long leaves. .
How do you harvest spinach so it keeps growing?
How can I keep my spinach plants producing leaves?If you just need a few leaves, use scissors or garden shears to cut the leaves at the stem, harvesting the outer, older leaves first, then working your way in gradually towards the center of the plant as the inner leaves start to mature. .