Spinach is a tasty, nutritious, and versatile plant that may be grown throughout the year, even until the earth freezes and winter sets in.
An extremely hot summer is not actually that great for producing spinach, but you can grow it indoors, and enjoy it fresh all year long. Another option for summer growing is to plant it near another tall-growing plant that will shade it and protect the plants. Corn is an obvious example, but a bean plant that climbs and grows on poles could also be a suitable option.
Different Types of Spinach
The smooth leaf and the crinkle leaf, often known as the savoyed, are two different varieties of spinach. There are various variants of both sorts, but the crinkle leaf is often darker in colour and has thicker leaves. Both thrive in damp soil, which makes spinach an excellent choice for aquaponics growth beds. Nitrogen is also vital in the soil, or growing medium, and that also makes aquaponic beds an excellent choice.
Many growers choose to start their seeds indoors before planting them in the garden. The plants have a lengthy tap-root in the centre that can reach ten to twelve inches in length, so if you’re going to grow the plants in a regular garden, you’ll want to make sure they can easily push through the soil.
Digging down and loosening the soil to a depth of at least a foot is the best way to do this.
You must also ensure that the rows of spinach plants are moist and do not dry out, and you may need to water twice a day. This will not only keep the soil moist but will also keep the plant cooler throughout the hot summer months.
When growing in traditional soil, mould or fungus on the plants must be avoided. Overwatering might cause these problems because the plants need to be kept in wet soil. A piece of advice that can help you prevent this issue is to make sure that your plants are well spaced. Make sure they’re at least 3 to 6 inches apart, then thin the plants after they’ve developed at least two nice leaves. This will help you to pick out the healthiest plants when it comes time to harvest them.
When To Plant
Seeds germinate in 7 to 14 days and can be planted as early as February if you live somewhere where the soil does not freeze. The plants will require 6 to 8 hours of bright light per day; however, remember that in the summer, the heat of the day, as well as direct sunlight, will harm your plants. In addition, the plant may “bolt” if it receives 14 hours or more of sunlight, or if the temperature is too high. When a spinach plant bolts, it produces a tall blossom stalk with bitter leaves. Because the seeds do not store well, make sure to harvest them each year or purchase them fresh.
How and When to Pick
You can pick as many leaves as you need for your dinner, pull up the entire plant, tap-root and all, or clip it off about an inch above the ground while picking spinach. New leaves will spring again on the plant once you pick the leaves you need or cut the plant off, allowing you to harvest the spinach plant again. Harvesting occurs four to six weeks after the seeds are planted, depending on the type of leaves you like to eat.
How to Enjoy Spinach
Spinach is delicious raw in a salad or in other side dishes on your plate, and it also works nicely in prepared recipes. There are several ways to incorporate spinach into your meals, such as steaming it or adding it to lasagna. You can also juice spinach leaves, which produces a deep, dark juice that is slightly gritty. A quarter cup of juice may be made from a couple of handfuls of leaves, and it goes well with a variety of other vegetables and even fruits.
You should avoid putting the leaves in the refrigerator with melons, tomatoes, or apples, as these foods release ethylene gas. The leaves are extremely susceptible to this gas, and they will quickly wilt and become sticky. They will survive ten to fourteen days in the refrigerator if stored properly.
Because spinach freezes well, you can save a harvest for the winter months when you aren’t cultivating new plants. You will need to wash the leaves fairly well and then spread them out to dry. Your leaves will not stay well in the freezer if they aren’t completely dry. For storage of spinach leaves, Ziploc freezer bags work well, and the leaves should be utilised within three to six months of freezing.