How to Care for Your Spinach Plant


Growing spinach is fun and rewarding. How can you give your spinach the right conditions to thrive?
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Spinach is a fantastic addition to a vegetable garden. Although it has cool season growth needs that are comparable to lettuce, it is more adaptable in terms of its nutritional needs. It can also be consumed raw or cooked.

Let’s look closer at spinach and how to plant, nurture, and take care of it in your garden.

Why You Should Consider Growing Spinach

Low-maintenance veggies like spinach don’t’ have as many pest or disease infestations as other plants. It grows quickly, making it the perfect starter vegetable for beginning gardeners.

Spinach is also rich in vitamins A, B, and C and contains potassium, magnesium, calcium, and iron, making this leafy green a true superfood.

This semi-sweet vegetable tastes good in smoothies, pizza, and salads.

homegrown fresh and leafy spinach

Best Time to Plant

You can grow and harvest spinach at the beginning or end of the growing season and it reaches full maturity in about 6 six weeks. 

It’s best to get spinach seeds in the ground as soon as the ground can be tilled in the spring. For germination to occur, the ideal soil temperature should be between 40 – 71 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Plan to plant at least six weeks before temperatures fall before 40 degrees.

You can also grow spinach by reseeding it every couple of weeks in the spring and autumn. This will create a steady supply of mature spinach that’s ready to harvest. 

planting spinach in the backyard

General Care

In general, spinach plants are relatively simple to cultivate since they are hardy enough to survive in cold climates and need only minimal human intervention.

Since spinach thrives in cooler temperatures, the optimum time to grow it is in the spring and autumn. It grows best in rich, well-draining soil that’s exposed to plenty of sunlight. 

In climates with higher average temperatures, plant spinach in rich, well-drained soil in partial shade.

Adding organic material, blood meal, or kelp to the soil towards the middle of the growing season will stimulate the quick development of new spinach leaves.

Despite being low maintenance, there are still a few particulars gardeners should consider when planting and growing spinach:

an array of organic lettuce in the garden

Water Needs

Spinach seedlings need a lot of water to germinate and flourish. But once they are established and depending on the climate and temperature, spinach plants can be watered 1 – 2 times each week.

Make sure their soil always remains slightly moist. Excessively dry soil slows down the plant’s development.

Cultivating it anyway during the rainy spring and fall weather without irrigation is rather simple in many areas.

Amount of Sun

Spinach can handle moderate shade, but it grows best in direct sunshine. You can successfully grow spinach indoors if it’s placed in a room with a south-facing window.

Fertilization

Spinach grows best in damp, nitrogen-rich soil. Although it doesn’t necessarily need fertilizer, planting spinach in high-quality soil mixed with compost helps to create an alkaline growing environment (one with a pH level over 7.0) and will produce the best results. 

Avoid planting it in locations where there has been a lot of wood debris, such as leaves or wood chips, since these materials increase the acidity in the soil.

For optimal growth and development, loosen the soil at least one foot deep when planting spinach plants to accommodate their deep taproots.

bed of spinach in the backyard garden

Other Maintenance

Additional things you can do to maximize your spinach plant’s growth include: 

Weeding

Since spinach is a low-growing plant, it can struggle to get much-needed sunlight, especially when it grows in a garden with other plants that may be competing for the same. To help alleviate this, keep weeds at bay in the early stages.

Baby spinach plants with higher densities grow best when they don’t have to fight weeds for sunlight. Every week, or as often as necessary, manually remove weeds that grow between and around spinach plants with a hoe or wire weeder.

Mulching

Lay a thin layer of hay, straw, or grass cuttings as mulch to control weed growth. This option may be safer than plucking the weeds since you risk damaging the spinach’s roots. 

Add just enough water to wet the ground – you don’t want to make it soggy because oversaturation can create water stress and make spinach plants bolt.

In temperatures above 80 degrees, shade spinach plants with a light fabric.

Carley Miller
Carley Miller is a horticultural expert at Bustling Nest. She previously owned a landscaping business for 25 years and worked at a local garden center for 10 years.
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