Thursday, September 16, 2010

Growing Spinach in your Home Vegetable Garden

Popeye the Sailor (or the creators thereof) was not too far off the mark when he became stronger by eating his spinach. Research studies have shown that spinach is filled with loads of nutrition. Abound high in many vitamins and minerals, spinach is an excellent addition to any healthy eating regimen.

No expert will say that eating a can of it will help you beat someone up, but all will agree that your body can use the nutritional value that spinach contains.

For us home vegetable gardeners we can combine the best of two worlds, eating right and growing our own food. Spinach is a fairly easy vegetable to grow. It grows in cooler weather and can be started indoors from seed. Here are some tips to ensure the growth of your fall spinach crop is a success.

Start Early
Most spinach takes about 60 days before full maturity and you live in zones where the frost sets in early you will have to do some planning. For me, living in zone 7 I start my spinach seeds indoors about the last week of August or the first week of September to make sure I will get a decent harvest before frost hits in November.

Do not overwater your spinach. This could cause improper growth but at the same time you do not want to underwater either. Giving it an even daily watering will do the trick. I highly recommend using a 3 in 1 soil tester that measures the level of moisture in the soil. Keep that measurement above the halfway mark and you will do ok.

Spinach can be harvested one leaf at a time. What I mean by that is, when the leaves of the plant are to a size that you can eat, simply use a pair of scissors to cut the leaf off and let the plant continue to grow new leaves. You can have a steady stream of spinach all autumn long.

If possible do not cut leaves off that you are not ready to eat. But if you must due to weather conditions, store them in your fridge away from fruits if you are going to consume the spinach within a day or two, otherwise you can freeze spinach to use at a later date.

Spinach is very good for you. The best part, you can grow it yourself with very little effort. Four plants per person in all your household needs to keep a steady stream of Spinach for the entire family, all season long.

About the Author
Michael C. Podlesny is the administrator for the largest Vegetable Gardening page on Facebook.

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