How to Grow Spinach
Spinach is a cool season annual that does best in rich, moist soil. Direct sow seed in the garden as soon as the ground can be worked (4-5 weeks before last frost). Seed Depth: ¼ ” Plant Spacing: 3 – 4″ apart Row Spacing 12″ apart Sow once a week for a continual harvest. May be planted again for a fall crop. Plant 8 weeks before first frost date (depending on the variety). Ideal soil temperature for germination is around 40-60°, with a pH of 6.4 to 6.9. Spinach grows well in partial to full sun. Mulch to keep soil moist. Heat encourages bolting. Allow 7-14 days for germination.
Harvest by cutting individual leaves (from the outside to encourage the inner leaves to keep growing), or by cutting the whole plant near the base. Spinach tastes better if eaten immediately after picking. You can store spinach in the refrigerator for a few days, but it will lose some flavor and nutritional value the longer is sets.
Saving Spinach Seeds
Pollinated by the wind. Suggested isolation distance is ¼ mile, although, barriers such as buildings may allow for a shorter distance. Allow plants to bolt. Once the seeds are dried, harvest the whole plant and thresh out the seed. Using a screen may be helpful. Seed should be viable for 2-5 years if kept cool and dry.
- Downy Mildew
Symptoms include pale green areas on the top of leaves changing to yellow, white/gray color on lower leaves, and leaf edges curling inward. Treat with neem oil, making sure crop has good air circulation, full sun, low humidity and crop rotation. Garlic spray can also be effective to destroy diseases on spinach.