Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Growing Spinach in Your Home Vegetable Garden

When I was younger I could not stand the taste of spinach. of course that was more than likely due to the fact the only spinach my mom served came from a frozen box that had to be cooked. Then in my early twenties I grew (no pun intended) to love to eat fresh, raw spinach. That is when I began growing my own spinach. I found that this cool weather crop is a great addition to any home vegetable garden, and a lot easier to grow then you think.

Spinach is a great crop of choice to start indoors. Because it is a cooler weather crop you can start it 3 weeks prior to the last frost of the winter season in your area and move it outdoors. It also makes for a great crop choice for cold frame growers.

Spinach seeds are on the medium sized scale and can be planted as deep as one half inch beneath the surface. In optimal conditions spinach seeds will germinate in as little as seven days, but the normal is fourteen days.

When preparing the site where your spinach will grow, make sure the pH range is in the 6.5 to 7.5 area. As long as you are using composting methods all year round, you should be ok. Pick a spot that receives full sun, and although many varieties of spinach will grow in partial shade, full sun will really give it a great boost.

Spinach requires a decent amount of space. Try to space your spinach plants out at least twelve inches, and if you can spare more room for them, do so. They will repay you with great returns.

Your spinach will be ready to harvest when the leaves are of big enough size to consume. Yes I know that is very generic, however, you can begin to harvest your spinach when you feel the leaves are of adequate size. Use a pair of scissors to cut the spinach leaves off so as to not damage the plant from pulling them off.

Spinach is a great crop because after you harvest some leaves, they will keep producing. Production of your spinach will slow down or stop once the weather becomes too hot, which also makes spinach a great fall crop as well.

Rotates well with all vegetable varieties except for legumes. Companions great with cabbage, celery, lettuce, radish and onions, but not with potatoes.

I can’t promise you that consuming spinach will make you big and strong like Popeye, but I can tell you it is very easy to grow, and fresh spinach is loaded with many vitamins, minerals and nutrients your body needs.

About the Author
Mike Podlesny is a contributing writer for Mike the Gardener Enterprises, LLC, who operates the largest Vegetable Gardening page on Facebook and the widely popular Seeds of the Month Club.

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