Spinach

 

  • Why you should grow it
    • Spinach is high in important nutrients like vitamin A, C, K, magnesium and iron
    • Fast-growing crop that you can start in early spring
    • A great early fall crop as well
    • New varieties include those that are slow to bolt, you’ll be able to plant spinach in warmer months
    • You can direct sow, and replant every 3 weeks to have continuous greens

 

  • How to start seeds
    • Plant in rich soil that is moist, like a well-rung out cloth
    • Plant in early spring all the way until early fall
    • Direct plant or start indoors
    • Needs cool soil to germinate, cool the soil in the summer by watering regularly and shading the soil
    • If you’re planting in the summer, look for bolt resistant varieties

 

  • Tips for growth
    • Keep shaded and cool during the summer
    • Plant taller plants like tomatoes, sunflowers, beans or peas to naturally shade the soil
    • Harvest the leaves regularly to prevent bolting

 

  • Harvesting
    • Pick the outside, older leaves first
    • Pick at the end of the stem or cut the whole plant at the base
    • You will get a 2nd harvest, although possibly a bit smaller

 

  • Saving Seeds
    • If you’re planning on saving seeds, make sure you only have one variety of spinach going to seed
    • Spinach will cross with other varieties if grown at the same time
    • Spinach plants are also dioecious, meaning that there are separate male and female plants, rather than monoecious where the male and female parts are on one plant
    • Spinach will bolt, meaning that it goes to seed
    • Leave the flowers on the spinach until they are well dried out
    • Snipe off the flower stalk and shake into a bag
    • Label with the variety and year and store in a cool dark place