As raised beds can increase the soil warmth quickly, be sure to check your soil temperature before planting. Spinach grows best in full sun, but will also produce in light shade, making it a good plant for less sunny areas of the garden. It’s a top choice for processed spinach, with varieties including Space, and the fast-to-harvest Red Cardinal. When you plant, mix in a time-release fertilizer with the soil, or use a rich compost mixture. It can grow in shadier conditions, but it should receive no less than six hours of full sun per day for plant development. Most people steam or blanch spinach before freezing, but since you’ll be trying to get out the water before freezing, I find it makes more sense to prepare it without additional liquid, which also saves some labor. Easy to clean. Like many other leafy vegetables, it’s advisable to regularly harvest leaves from the plant to encourage faster and bushier growth. Because fall crops need to be planted while soil temperatures are warmer than spinach seeds like, germination rates are likely to be significantly lower, so sow more heavily in your late-summer planting. But what about those unforeseen circumstances? Tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers are also good plants near your spinach. The leaves wilt if the soil becomes too dry. Source: paix120, Crabgrass: How To Get Rid Of This Weed For Good, Best Work Gloves: Getting The Right Gloves For Your Job, Flea beetles, spider mites, aphids, cutworms, armyworms, leafminers, slugs, snails, Downy mildew, powdery mildew, white rust, anthracnose, cercospora leaf spot, spinach blight, fusarium wilt. Consistent moisture is important for spinach. Disease-resistant with uniform growth, great flavor. As the young plants come up, assess the young plants for hardiness and thin to 4-6″ apart. You do not have to cover the plant even in zone 3 (temperature drops to -40), but you can add a layer of mulch if you haven’t yet. Due to the long taproot that the spinach plant produces, it can quickly outgrow any starter containers. You can sometimes provide shade cloth through the heat of the day to reduce the ambient temperature around your plant, but it won’t work for long. Plant spinach seeds about 1/2 inch deep, spacing the seeds 2 to 3 inches apart in rows or in a scattered configuration. Bolt and disease-resistant. Additionally, you can cut the bigger, outer leaves and leave the smaller spinach leaves to grow. This is generally 6-8 weeks after planting. Spinach can be harvested a few leaves at a time, or all at once, depending on your needs and preferences. Whenever possible, avoid overcrowding! However, it’s important to note that spinach seeds do not germinate well at soil temperatures above 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Some of these may be affiliate links, meaning we earn a small commission if items are purchased. Summer and spring sunlight, however, will require you to place your potted plants in a slightly shady location. While these spinach varieties look much different from the savoy due to their smooth, uncurled leaves, they are still spinach! You can usually start to harvest spinach once each plant has a few full-sized leaves, if you intend to just harvest a leaf or two at a time. Discard any damaged or discolored leaves, and get them into the refrigerator quickly. Savoy types tend to have a crinkled or curled leaf shape, and work beautifully for fresh eating. Always harvest early in the day, when leaves retain the most moisture for more succulent salads. Fill clean pots with growing medium for a container garden. When reusing, you can just pull out handfuls of spinach and add it to whatever you’re going to cook. Other good cool-weather choices include cauliflower, celery, cabbage, peas, or strawberries. Most plants will send down one deep taproot and a multitude of other thinner roots. Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County: Planning Your Vegetable Garden, You Tube: You Can Grow Food in Winter in the San Francisco Bay Area. Bolting is when the stems and leaves shoot straight up, failing to form the larger leaves required for culinary purposes. For a larger harvest at once, you can wait until the plants are more fully grown and cut the entire plant off. Spinach can also be dehydrated or freeze dried. Mild flavor, upright habit, mildew resistance, and a reluctance to bolt.