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
When you’re growing spinach in your garden for use in fresh spring salads or warming autumn stir fries, knowing when and how to harvest can help ensure you extend the growth of your crop, and enjoy more meals from your plants.Packed with nutrition, this healthy leafy green, Spinacia oleracea, is a fantastic garden staple to have on hand in your backyard.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.If you see a stem growing straight up from amongst the foliage, that’s a clear sign that your garden veggie has its sights set on reproduction.If you see this happening, go ahead and harvest your whole crop immediately, because its quality will quickly drop when the process of flowering and setting seed gets started.A relative of beets and swiss chard, this member of the goosefoot family begins its reproductive process in response to lengthening days as well as heat.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.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.When you have sorted through your harvest, clean the leaves by rinsing them until the water is free from dirt, and then dry them with the help of your salad spinner. .
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. .
How to Pick Spinach Off the Plant
When to Harvest Spinach.Individual spinach leaves can be harvested as soon as they reach the mature size typical of their cultivar and after the plant has produced at least six true leaves, according to the University of Wisconsin Extension.Picking the individual leaves may continue until the spinach plant produces a flower stalk, at which point the flavor and quality of the leaves will be poor.Pinch off the individual leaves 2 inches above the base using your fingers or snip off the leaves using sharp, clean scissors.Gather the spinach leaves in a colander and rinse them thoroughly before using or storing them.Growing Spinach. .
How to Plant, Grow, and Harvest Spinach
Where to Grow Spinach.Add two inches of aged compost or a commercial organic planting mix to the planting beds before planting then turn the soil to 12 inches (30cm) deep.Warm weather and long days will cause spinach to bolt—that is it will flower and go to seed.It needs 6 weeks of cool weather from seed sowing to harvest.In mild-winter regions, plant spinach in late summer or early autumn for harvest in autumn or winter; sow spinach for autumn harvest 6 to 8 weeks before the first fall frost.Planting Spinach.Cover seed lightly with soil.Container Growing Spinach.Spinach will grow in a container.Containers will warm more quickly than garden soil in spring.Avoid splashing muddy water onto leaves; mulch around plants with straw or chopped leaves to avoid getting soil on leaves.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.Remove leaves in which leafminers are tunneling-.Cut leaves 4 to 7 inches (10-17cm) long from plants that have 6 to 8 leaves.If you harvest all of the leaves from a plant, cut the leaves 3 inches (7cm) above the soil; new leaves will grow on for a second harvest.Very large leaves and older leaves can be bitter; harvest leaves sooner rather than later.Lengthening days (days longer than 14 hours) and warming weather (temperatures greater than 75°F/24°C) will cause spinach to bolt, flower, and set seed.More tips: How to Harvest and Store Spinach.‘Bloomsdale Long Standing’ (43 days): crinkled leaves, mosaic virus tolerant.About Spinach.Spinach is a cool-season annual grown for its 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 to Grow Spinach The Right Way
Spinach is one of the best cool-weather crops that you can grow.Common Name Spinach Scientific Name Spinacea oleracia Germination Time 8-15 days Days to Harvest 40ish, varies by variety Light Full sun to part shade Water About 1” per week Temperature Cool-season, 60-75 degrees preferred Humidity Can tolerate some humidity Soil Well-draining, alkaline soil Fertilizer High nitrogen fertilizer and compost Pests Flea beetles, spider mites, aphids, cutworms, armyworms, leafminers, slugs, snails Diseases Downy mildew, powdery mildew, white rust, anthracnose, cercospora leaf spot, spinach blight, fusarium wilt.Variety Growing Time Description Where To Buy Bloomsdale 50 days Heirloom savoy variety from 1925, extremely popular.Buy Seeds Escalade 43 days Mild flavor, upright habit, mildew resistance, and a reluctance to bolt.Buy Seeds America 43 days Thick green leaves perfect for freezing, canning, or fresh use.Buy Seeds.Easier to clean than savoy varieties, the flat leaf spinach types are often used for processing into frozen or canned spinach.Variety Growing Time Description Where To Buy Red Kitten 40 days Medium green leaves with red stems.Buy Seeds Baby’s Leaf 40 days Lots of leaf, very little stem.Buy Seeds.Hybrids of the flat-leaf and savoy spinach types have produced a semi-savoy.It has some of the easier-to-clean benefits of flat leaf varieties, but works well in both fresh and cooked uses.Variety Growing Time Description Where To Buy Kolibri 29 days High downy mildew resistance, quick growing.Buy Seeds Seaside 40 days Resistant to heat bolting, semi-smooth leaves.Disease-resistant with uniform growth, great flavor.Buy Seeds.Planting Spinach.When To Plant Spinach.Early spring and in the fall are the two times of year when spinach is most likely to come to full maturity before bolting.Planting your seeds as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring is the best way to get a full crop before the weather starts to get hot.You can actually plant before the final frost in most areas, but the seeds won’t germinate unless the soil temperature’s above 40, and it may be a slower growth process.Where To Plant Spinach.How To Plant Spinach.Be careful: crowding spinach plants will result in weak plants, stunted growth, and quick bolting.While some varieties of spinach are surprisingly cold-hardy and can handle chills down into freezing temperatures, their leaf production greatly slows down as the temperature drops.Similarly, overly warm conditions will tell your spinach that it’s time to produce seed and prepare to die of heat exhaustion.The taproot will search deep in the soil for water, but the rest of the roots need moisture too!Regular, shallow waterings are better than one heavy watering.A few days to a week prior to planting your spinach, work some compost and a slow-release, high-nitrogen fertilizer into the soil where you’ll be planting.Once there are four young leaves there, you can add an extra dose of a high-nitrogen liquid fertilizer around the base of your plant.These fertilizers should be worked into the top inch or so of the soil a few inches from the plant itself and should be thoroughly watered in.Spinach is an annual plant; once it has gone to seed, its lifespan is essentially over, and other than potential harvesting of the seed the plant can be removed.Like many other leafy vegetables, it’s advisable to regularly harvest leaves from the plant to encourage faster and bushier growth.Unlike many other green plants, spinach does not grow from cuttings, as the leaves and stems will not form new roots.Spinach seed can be stored for a few years in normal seed storage options, but the tiny seeds lose their ability to germinate when they get too old.It’s possible to transplant spinach… I just don’t recommend it if it was initially grown in a container!It’s better to just plant your spinach directly in the soil as seed and allow it to develop normally.Harvesting and Storing Spinach.Once you’ve got a bunch of spinach plants, it’s definitely time to start harvesting your produce!Many people prefer to wait until their plant has developed some good leaf growth, but spinach can also be grown as a sprout or as microgreens.To harvest baby spinach leaves, wait until it’s formed a rosette of at least five to six leaves, and then harvest.If you remove all of the leaves, the plant will not grow to maturity, so if you plan to harvest baby spinach, regularly re-sow to maintain steady production.Be sure to leave at least a portion of the leaf stem on the leaf as removal of the stem will cause the leaf to wilt more quickly.To clean it, fill a large bowl with cool water and place your spinach inside.Once they’re clean, remove any damaged, wilted, diseased or discolored leaves, and then dry the spinach leaves completely.Be sure to remove any excess air in the bag before freezing!Spinach is a low-acid food, so must be canned with a pressure canner to avoid the risk of botulism.To dry your spinach, follow the manufacturer’s directions on your dehydrator or freeze dryer.As long as you’ve followed the steps mentioned above, you should be able to grow a good crop of spinach.Growing Problems.Plants that bolt to produce seed are suffering from weather that’s just simply too warm.That doesn’t make for a good spinach harvest!There are also some great DIY pest control methods that work against slugs and snails!It’s best to avoid downy mildew by ensuring good airflow around your plants and by watering the soil rather than the leaves.Powdery mildew can also become a problem on spinach, but it can be treated with repeated applications of neem oil.Growing resistant varieties and preventing aphids on your spinach are both essential protections. .