Nothing tastes better than fresh young spinach leaves in a summer salad. In this article we will discuss how to grow spinach all summer long.
Over the past few years spinach has had a real revival, not only is it now considered a “superfood” by many but the use in salads has highlighted how tasty young spinach leaves can be. The days of boiled-to-death spinach are over.
The first consideration for a good spinach crop is the soil. Spinach are a hungry plant and sowing in a rich soil that has been recently manured or had a dash of growmore added too it is idea.
Mature plants running to seed is the biggest problem when learning how to grow spinach. Once the warm summer days begin spinach quickly bolts and goes to seed. You have two options that will prevent this, sow in a shady area or between taller growing crops.
Once you have found the perfect location it’s time to sow the seeds. Sowing is fairly easy, the seeds are large enough to handle easily.
Sow spinach seeds regularly from March until June.
I have found that growing spinach 3 inches apart in rows 8 inches apart is ideal. Once the plants are 4 inches tall it’s the perfect time to remove every second plant, these leaves are ideal for salads.
The plants remaining can be left to mature and be steamed or boiled. Another option is to keep harvesting a few leaves every week from each of the remaining plants for salads, these will continue to regrow all summer long if you have chosen a cool area.
At this time regular watering is very important, the plants need to be kept cool and moist but never waterlogged. Under watering is the most common reason for spinach to taste bitter.
With spinach weeding is very important for the first month but once the plants are established they will out compete even the most competitive weeds. The plants grow quickly if the conditions are right which blocks any sunlight from reaching new weed seedlings.
When it comes to pest and diseases that affect spinach the only real menace is slugs.
For the most committed gardeners, Spinach does very well sown early and late in the season in a polytunnel or greenhouse. Doing so will enable you to grow spinach for 9 months of the year. Small but regular sowings are the key to having a long harvest period.