How to Grow Spinach
**Spinach is not a hard crop to grow and it is also a quick one, you can harvest it after 40-50 days.
**The most important thing is to not treat spinach like you do your lettuces. Also, it bolts in hot weather, so it is really a spring or a fall crop.
**In warm climates, it is grown as a fall, winter, and early spring crop. In the north, plants will winter over in the ground even in very cold areas.
**Plant spinach in full sun or part shade (do part shade if the crop will be growing in warmish weather).
**If trying to start a fall crop, you can grow between rows of taller plants like corn or beans so that those plants will shade the spinach during the summer.
**It is a good idea for use about 40 square feet for growing spinach if you want a decent amount of the crop.
**Spinach prefers a light soil but a heavy soil can work as well (heavy soils are cooler and holds moisture better which will help keep the plants from bolting). In both types of soil, add plenty of organic matter to increase moisture retention. It is almost impossible to overfeed spinach.
**They are a bit fussy and want a soil of pH levels between 6.0-7.0 (if you do not own a soil testing kit yet, this is a good one).
**Sow spinach seeds (like these) directly into the garden. For spring planting you can start as soon as there is some ground in the garden that is thawed and dried out. You can also furrow trenches in the fall and simply drop the seeds in it in the early spring and not worry about if the soil is not thawed enough or is still too muddy.
**If your fall crop has overwintered, all you have to do is pick off the frost-damaged leaves and watch the plants come back to life.
**Plant spinach either in single rows, multiple rows, or blocks with a grid pattern. Each spinach head will need about a square foot of soil per plant. Plant the seeds ½ inch deep and at least 1 inch apart. They will germinate in 5-9 days. When there are two true leaves on the plants, thin to the desired spacing and use the discards in salads.
**Unless you want tons of spinach all at once, you might want to save half a packet of seeds, and then sow one or more extra crops at intervals of about 10 days.
**Stop sowing seeds around mid-May. Start fall crops around late August or later in warmer climates. Fall crops should be sown a little thicker and deeper than spring crops. Keep fall crops moist with frequent watering.
**Mulching can help keep the soil moist, but try to avoid an acidic mulch like sawdust, bark, or peat moss because they can lower the pH below the plants’ tolerance. Straw is better.
**If you are overwintering a crop by keeping young plants dormant, it is best to mulch them heavily after the ground freezes to keep it frozen evenly.
**Be careful with your weeding because spinach are shallow-rooted plants.
**You can harvest your spinach crop by cutting the outside leaves and letting the centers keep producing OR by cutting the whole plant just at soil level like a head of lettuce.
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