These dates will vary a week or two so it’s important to watch the weather before planting. .

Zone 4

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All About Spinach

Spinach thrives in cool weather and short days so it's best to grow it in the fall for most gardeners.Northern gardeners can plant an early spring crop followed by another in midsummer to mature before the first hard freeze.It was introduced into Europe about 1000 AD It wasn't until after the eighteenth century that it began to be cultivated in the Netherlands, France and England with the Spanish eventually bringing it to the Americas.If its still too hot use hoops made from 1/2 inch polyethylene irrigation tubing to lift the row cover off of the small seedlings.Working 2-4 inches of compost into the soil prior to planting is always a good idea and while you're at it incorporate 2 pounds of a complete fertilizer per 100 square feet.Ammonium sulfate at 2 tablespoons per foot of row should keep the spinach producing all season long if applied every two weeks or as needed.Supply lots of moisture and cool the soil (especially with late summer plantings) and don't be shy about fertilizing.Use one of the biological worm sprays (Bacillus thuringiensis) to take out these pests without hazard to people, pets and beneficial insects.White rust, blue mold (downy mildew) and the soil-borne disease fusarium wilt are the primary pests in this category.Where this disease is a common problem, as it is in many areas of the South, check with the Extension Service for recommended fungicides.Fresh spinach is wonderful with blue cheese or ranch dressing, maybe a little bacon, hard-cooked egg, etc, etc.It's also great sautŽed with a little bacon grease, green onion and a vinegar hot pepper sauce. .

Vegetable Garden Succession Planting

When crops are growing and being harvested in optimum conditions, they can achieve peak taste and nutritional value. .

Choosing the Right Spinach Plant Varieties for Your Growing Zone

This is because the plant will bolt quickly and the seeds won’t germinate in hot soil temperatures above 85 degrees.Spinach plant varieties with savory leaves tend to be more heat tolerant and disease resistant.It’s a fast-growing vining variety with red stems, and its mild flavor tastes great raw in a salad.Grow the vines over an arch or doorway, and harvest the plant repeatedly through the summer and fall.A slow-growing and slow-to-bolt variety, Escalade spinach has emerald green textured leaves and a mild flavor.Escalade can tolerate higher temperatures and sunlight better than most other organic blends, and while you can grow this variety during the fall and spring, summer is the best season for it.This variety is great for the Northwest’s conditions, and it offers the highest protein count out of any spinach plant on this list.The leaves are packed with vitamins and minerals, and can help boost your eyesight, lower cholesterol, and fight off cancer-causing radicals.Mature plants can withstand temperatures that drop into the teens, which makes it great for zones with colder fall nights.You can also plant the following average weather varieties for overwintering if you live in the warmer zones (8 or above).A substantial and robust option, Regiment spinach offers thick, broad semi-savoyed leaves.This spinach plant is full of nutrients, grows quickly, and offers decent bolting resistance.Another hybrid variety, Teton spinach is productive during the spring and yield a large amount of dark green, smooth leaves.It’s a great source of vitamins C, A, and B-complex with a mild flavor, and is both slow to bolt and mildew resistant.It’s easy to grow, extremely slow to bolt in the heat, disease tolerant, and is partially hardy.You can directly sow the seeds outside when the frost has passed or plant them indoors and transplant them outside when temperatures rise.For the best results, plant Tyee in your outdoor garden during later winter or before early spring when daytime temperatures consistently reach 40 degrees.Another fast-growing hybrid plant with exceptional bolting and disease resistance, Corvair offers attractive, dark green oval leaves with a smooth texture.They’re a great source of vitamin A, perfect for adding into homemade bread, and are sometimes used to make blue dye.Since spinach is a natural cool weather vegetable, it handles cold climates quite well and makes a perfect winter garden addition.A remarkable frost-tolerant variety, this type is perfect for winter gardening and can withstand harsh Northwest weather.A favorite among gardeners since the early 1900s, Bloomsdale Longstanding is perfect for withstanding cold temperatures in areas with mild winters.It has dark green, savoyed leaves that curl slightly, and you can expect a decent yield each harvest.You can also plant a crop in the fall for early spring harvest, or grow this variety in a cold frame or greenhouse.Sow the seeds directly when temperatures reach over 55 degrees F, and try growing this variety in a greenhouse for sweeter leaves.Space is a great option for winter harvests, as the seeds can be sown in September for overwintering.It’s also considered a three-season spinach plant, which makes it great for a wide range of temperatures and hardiness zones.The medium green colored leaves are round or oval, and will bolt slightly faster than Tyee.It’s mildew resistant, and best grown over winter with protection from frost, such as row covers or cold frames.An Asian spinach plant blend, Kolibri is a great semi-savoy variety for overwintering with the help of a cold frame, cover, or greenhouse.It’s highly mildew resistant, and there are purple varieties available as well that tend to grow better in cold climates. .

Zone 4 Vegetable Planting Calendar/Schedule

You should adjust the planting dates relative to your particular area, and the specific variety of vegetables going into your garden.See the chart (below) to view the average dates of first and last freeze (low temperature reaches 32 degrees Fahrenheit) for each zone.Each vegetable has a variety of types, each one with a slightly different growing season, and length. .


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