Spinach is a superfood that contains a lot of vitamins, nutritions, and antioxidants. It has dark green leaves that are great for cooking or as the main salad ingredients. There are some health benefits that we can get from consuming spinach, including lowering the risk of cancer, improving blood glucose control, and also supplying minerals and irons. Besides, its taste is delicious and its seeds are easy to grow.
As an annual plant, each spinach grows for a single season. Moreover, growing spinach is best to do in spring or about six weeks before the last frost. It grows quickly in well-drained and organic soil. If you are interested to plant spinach in your backyard, we provide some pieces of information that might help you in starting from the beginning.
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Growing from seeds is a common method that many gardeners use, especially growing spinach. Since spinach seeds often available at local nurseries, they are easy to get. Additionally, growing spinach from seeds requires some treatments and measurements. Thus, take a look at these tips on growing spinach from seeds below.
Pay attention to the soil and the weather
Make sure the garden has neutral to alkaline soil about pH 7 or above. However, if it is acid and sandy, try to lime the soil based on the test to increase its pH level. It is also essential to keep the soil moist once the seeds are planted. Additionally, don’t forget to observe the weather before you plant spinach. It is best to grow in the fall when the weather is cool and the days are short.
1. Plant the seeds
Most gardeners plant spinach from seeds. A rapid seeds germinations are best to develop on the soil with 68 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Furthermore, keep the soil moist and cover the row with fiber cover to cool the soil and help the seeds to grow. Then, remove the cover when the seedlings are visible.
2. Cultivate spinach plants
After measuring the soil pH level, you can think about a media for growing spinach. Many gardeners use a raised bed which is 6-8 inches above the existing soil. Moreover, you might want to add compost about 2-3 inches into the soil and include 2 pounds of fertilizer per 100 square feet.
Additionally, provide space between one plant and another. Then, side-dress the row with nitrogen to encourage the leaves production. Furthermore, you can apply 2 tablespoons of ammonium sulfate every two weeks per foot of row to keep it producing all season and also watering is essential for good drainage. Lastly, when it’s time for harvesting, take only a few leaves as needed and it allows the spinach to continue producing.
3. Fertilize the plant
Since spinach is a heavy feeder, provide 2-4 pounds complete fertilizer per 100 square into the soil during planting time. Then, to keep spinach grows vigorously, side-dress once in two weeks or as necessary. Also, make sure to keep fertilizer about 4-6 inches from the plant base to avoid burning the roots and let the water run thoroughly.
4. Keep away from insects and diseases.
Insects like aphids, plant lice, and caterpillars love spinach. To get rid of them, you can knock them off with a high-pressure water spray, try an organic spray, or use biological worm sprays. Additionally, diseases are a threat to spinach too. Firstly, there is white rust, and it is a common problem that happens during cool and humid conditions. Thus, removing some infected leaves can help. Secondly, blue mold is also a disease that can be treated by removing some infected leaves and also use fungicides. Lastly, it is a soil-borne disease fusarium wilt that becomes primarily pests among other diseases. To control it, switch spinach with unrelated plants for at least three years.
As we know that spinach is a green, leafy, and cold plant that is commonly grown in early spring, fall, and even winter for some areas. However, common spinach cannot grow in summer, because most varieties of this plant are not tolerant of heat. Although summer is not a spinach season, some spinach varieties can grow well in this season.
Growing spinach in summer will give you more challenges. Unless if you grow Malabar spinach or New Zealand spinach. Although these plants called spinach, they are not related to it. Malabar spinach is a perennial vine that can climb up to 30 feet in height. Providing a trellis can keep the leaves off the ground and it looks more decorative. On the other hand, the New Zealand spinach stays earthbound. It is great both for salads or cooked.
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Baby spinach tastes sweet and has a crunchy texture. It is easy to grow and this plant will keep producing its leaves for several weeks. Additionally, baby spinach has small and delicate leaves that easily wilt when cooked. Nevertheless, this plant contains a lot of nutrients and also versatile. Now, take a look at these variations of baby spinach below.
Medania baby spinach is a modern variety of spinach. It has thick and rounded dark green leaves that are great to plant in autumn to winter.
Spinach Viking has dark green leaves that are rich in vitamin, mineral, and protein. Besides, its baby spinach tastes best and it can grow in a hydroponics system.
Hector baby spinach grows best in rich, damp, and well-drained soil. It is resistant to bolting and tolerance to mildew.
Viroflay spinach is an old variety of spinach that is hardy and resistant to the Parisian suburb cold. It also has meaty, large, and smooth leaves.
Lazio spinach is ideal to produce as a baby spinach. It has smooth, dark green, and rounded leaves.
Having a limited garden space might make you think twice to grow plants at home. However, it should not stop your intention because you can use a container as a planter. Growing spinach in containers is easy and ideal. It allows you to place and move it anywhere, such as on the pouch or in the kitchen. Therefore, take a look at these examples of spinach container gardening that you can adopt.
A small container is perfect to arrange in a front porch because it only uses a little space. Also, it allows you to see fresh spinach every time you walk outside.
Using a ceramic bowl to grow spinach provides a unique look and enough space. Similar to other container materials, this one also needs good care.
While growing spinach indoors, you can put them by the window to keep it receiving the sunlight. You can also choose an earthenware pot for growing this plant.
Arranging containers to be a vertical garden allows us to save more space. Try to plant green spinach on the containers and don’t forget to add trellis if necessary.
Use a vegetable box if you are adopting an urban gardening style. You can combine spinach and other small vegetables in a large container. It is best to put it outdoors and let it absorb the sunlight.
Eating salads is perfect if it contains spinach, especially Malabar spinach. Although this plant called spinach, it doesn’t taste like one. Moreover, Malabar spinach grows with vines and if you plant it, make sure to give something to climb on. Here, we provide several suggestions on growing Malabar spinach.
The patio corner is a great spot for arranging plants. You can also plant Malabar spinach in a pot and put it there.
Providing a container as a media for growing Malabar spinach is an excellent idea. It creates a small garden and saves more space for your home area.
Since Malabar spinach is a part of vines, this plant creeps and needs something to support it. Thus, you can use wire trellis and put around it to help it climb vertically.
Growing spinach in raised beds provides an excellent arrangement, especially Malabar spinach. It is also marvelous to create a raised bed in the hexagonal form and put it in a large garden.
Instead of plastic or terracotta planters, metal also looks great for a planter. You can plant Malabar spinach in there and add a wire trellis to support the vines.
Water spinach is known as kangkong grown mostly in Southeast Asia. It considered a vegetable and can survive in a warm and humid area with subtropical or tropical climates. Similar to its name, water spinach grows in a swampy area with consistent muddy soil. Therefore, here are some additional pieces of information about the growing water spinach that you can apply at home.
Growing water spinach in the home garden is easy. Before planting, you can choose a location with full sun in your garden and prepare the fertile soil with rich organic content. Also, you can plant water spinach from seeds or cutting and make sure you provide good care.
The aquaponics system is a combination of hydroponics and aquaculture. Water spinach can adapt well to this system. Thus, you can also build it yourself by using home appliances.
While starting to grow spinach from seeds, you need a fresh potting soil. Sow the seeds into the pot and make sure to keep the seeds moist consistently. Moreover, keep the temperature about 20 degrees C and the seeds will germinate in a couple of weeks.
Hydroponics systems are excellent for growing water spinach. You can start by planting the seeds in starter plugs and keep it damp. After 7 to 10 days, you can start to give them fertilizer. Don’t forget to feed the plant and check the water quality.
Containers provide a large space for growing water spinach besides of using pots. Thus, it will be beneficial if you start gardening by growing spinach in this planter.
Although growing spinach is easy, the gardeners still need to take care of this plant well by giving it some special treatments. Those treatments include choosing the right variety that suitable for the soil and weather, fertilize it regularly, and keep it away from insects. However, doing all of those treatments can provide you with a great result. Therefore, if you plan to grow this plant at home or in your garden, don’t be hesitant because it will provide you with plenty of benefits.
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