Growing Spinach - Discover How Easy and Cheap It Is
Have you been looking for something nutritious to add to your diet? Spinach is a complete food that provides plenty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It is one of the healthiest of the green leaf vegetables and it's rich in iron and vitamin A. Cooked or raw in salads, this tough, easy-to-grow crop thrives even in cold weather. Plant spinach seeds as soon as possible, either in the spring or in late fall (more resistant varieties are better for spring planting.)
While spinach seeds are generally thought to be more heat tolerant than other greens, they are still very sensitive to high temperatures. Heat can kill most seeds before even reaching their germination period. It's best to keep them out of the sun during the hottest parts of a summer and to store them in an area that is cool on days with high temperatures. Make sure they are also stored dry at all times.
When you're ready to plant spinach seeds, remember that they will need to be planted in a hole that is large enough to allow for expansion but not big enough to drown any roots that might try to grow through. Prepare the soil by digging it well, then filling in any holes or depressions with the dirt from the surrounding soil. If it's necessary, add compost to improve the soil's ability to hold moisture. Be sure not to place any potted plants directly onto the cold hardy soil. Instead, place the entire seed mix inside a large container filled with cool, moist soil.
The time of year that you plant your spinach seeds is extremely important. While you can typically expect to have them start growing in late spring, there is a timing system that needs to be followed. The best time for planting is in late summer or early fall, as this is when the conditions are most suitable for root growth. If you're planning to have these tender plants produce a harvest in the winter, be sure to plan your planting for the later part of September or October.
Once you've located where your seeds should be planted, dig a hole that is one to two feet deeper than the roots of the plant in order to maximize the amount of water and fertilizer that the plant receives. Most gardeners recommend that you plant your spinach seeds about six to eight inches deep, and then place them in the hole directly, with the plant touching the base of the hole. This ensures that air can reach all parts of the plant, ensuring that they produce the best quality foliage.
Care for growing spinach is relatively easy once you've established the frequency and time of year in which they should be planted. You'll have to water frequently during their first year, but as they get closer to harvest time, you can drastically reduce watering. However, you should never waterless-watered plants, as leaf moisture level requires around 1% water. If necessary, use a hand-held sprinkler gun to add water as needed. In the winter months, you may choose to protect your young greens by wrapping them in a plastic bag and storing them in a refrigerator or dry container.
When you have chosen where you will be growing your spinach, you can begin preparing the soil for planting. It is important to get the soil ready before you start digging, so that it will retain the proper amount of moisture. The spinach leaves should be removed and discarded, and any uneaten leaf residue should be swept away from the area. After you have your soil properly prepared, you can start planting.
Growing spinach is a rewarding experience that offers a rich history and delicious taste. This is a great way to introduce young children to the joys of healthy eating while enjoying the beauty and variety of a healthy plant. While spinach is not the first crop many families raise, it is a crop that most anyone can grow, making it a fun family experience. Start planting this year and enjoy the joys of summer gardens as well as the satisfaction of knowing you are contributing to the area's nutrition. Spinach seeds are inexpensive and easy to find, making this a great choice for a new crop to add to your diet.