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When, Where and How to Plant Spinach

Author: CC

Mar. 17, 2023

5 0 0

Tags: Agriculture

Spinach is a cool-season plant that's one of the first crops of spring and a great fall crop as well. You'll enjoy growing this undemanding plant and will enjoy eating it even more. Harvest spinach any time to enjoy raw in salads or cook it up in seconds for a delicious side dish that's loaded with vitamins and minerals. If you want to grow spinach in your garden, here's everything you need to know.


How Do I Grow Spinach?

New hybrid dark green high yield spinach


Spinach can be either sown directly into the garden or started from seeds indoors. For the least work and the most convenience, seedlings can also be purchased from a nursery in spring.


To give spinach a head start, plant seeds in sterile seed-starting mix indoors about six weeks before the last expected frost date. The seeds will germinate one to two weeks later in soil that is between 60 and 68 degrees. If growing in a room that stays cool, consider using a seed-starting mat that will raise the temperature of the soil.


Spinach is frost tolerant, so it can go in the ground long before many other crops. When spinach seedlings have two true leaves and when there are four or fewer weeks remaining until your last frost date, the seedlings may be transplanted outdoors.  


Seeds can be planted outdoors as soon as the soil is workable in spring - about six weeks before the last expected frost - and they will germinate as the days warm.


To germinate seeds faster and more reliably, there is a process called “priming.” A week before sowing spinach seeds indoors or out, soak seeds in room temperature water overnight or up to 24 hours. Next, place the seeds on a paper towel to air dry for one or two days. Once the seeds appear dry, place them in an airtight container and store the container in a cool place. The spinach seeds will have soaked up and retained enough water to stimulate the first stages of germination. Wait at least five days, but no more than seven, and sow the seeds.


Primed spinach seeds will germinate both faster and more uniformly: In about five days, the grass-like seedlings will emerge.


Spinach seeds last up to three years in storage. If in doubt about the age or viability of spinach seeds, prime and sow a few seeds early to test the batch. If the test seeds don't germinate, it's time for a new packet.


New hybrid dark green high yield spinach


For a steady harvest over several weeks, a good strategy is to plant a new crop every 10 days. Each crop can be sown directly, or you can stagger plantings of both seeds and seedlings. Continue these succession plantings until it's time for summer crops to go in. When late summer comes, start up again for fall crops.


Spinach grows well in a wide variety of soils, but like most crops, it does best when the soil is well amended with lots of organic matter, especially compost. The ideal pH range for spinach, like many common vegetable crops, is 6.5 to 7.0. A soil test can tell you if you are near the target and, if not, what amendments can be added to the soil.


Spinach will grow best in full sun - six to eight hours of direct sunlight - or partial shade.


Follow the spacing instructions that come on the seed packets for the variety you have, or plant just a little denser with a plan to later eat the baby spinach that you will remove while thinning the crop.


We are a spinach seed supplier. If you are interested in our products, please contact us now!