So, you'd like to know how to grow the great, healthy spinach in your backyard? This plant makes an excellent addition to your vegetable garden. If you want to harvest spinach leaves, which are full of nutrients, follow these tips.
During the spring and fall, this vegetable should grow in full sun. In summer, it performs best in partial shade, as too much sunlight and warm temperatures cause bolting. How can you provide the partial shade? Use a simple trick and plant spinach between the rows of tall plants, such as beans or corn.
Spinach needs a rich soil that retains moisture well. Preferred Ph is 6.3-7.5. Test it with a Soil Test Kit. If it's too low, add some lime. For the best results, work a generous amount of compost, or a cured manure, into the veggie plot.
Mid-spring is a perfect time to start planting. Choose disease resistant varieties, and sow seeds 0.5'' deep, in rows 12'' apart. Thin the seedlings without mercy, as the plants can't be closer than 5'' to each other. Why? Specimen must be spaced, to allow a good air circulation, or you can have troubles with fungal infections. Expect the harvest in 4-6 weeks from the moment of planting. Sow a new batch every 3-4 weeks, if you plan to collect fresh leaves for the whole season.
Water in the morning, or in the afternoon. Why? Drops of water on leaves can act as lenses, leading to burns, caused by midday sun. On the other hand, if the plant is wet at night, it becomes more susceptible to diseases. Such a small thing as watering at the right time makes a significant difference in a long run.
This vegetable has quite high nutrient requirements, so feed it with an efficient organic fertilizer frequently.
Mulch the soil to retain moisture and deter weeds. If they show up, remove them. Yes, I know it's a pain. But... you wanted tips on growing the greatest and most healthy spinach ever, didn't you? So go and get rid of those weeds.
You can start the harvest, when leaves are large enough. Of course, you decide if they are large enough :) Collect older leaves first, because young ones will keep growing. If the plant starts to seed, cut it down.
Now that you know all about growing spinach, follow the steps above and you will have the greatest and most healthy spinach leaves in no time! To start, get spinach seeds on Amazon.
Image credit: Stephen Ausmus, ARS, USDA.