How to grow spinach, when to harvest, and how to store it
We have had our own garden for a few years now, but I always like to learn as much as I can about the vegetables I am growing so that I am get the most our of my garden. Recently I have been learning a lot about spinach so I thought that I would like to share what I have learned about how to grow and harvest spinach.
Spinach is a great green leafy vegetable that is packed with lots of nutrients (like vitamin A and C, potassium, and even folic acid). (PERFECT FOR EXPECTING MOTHERS!! 😉 ) It grows great in full sun or partial shade and likes the cooler weather. You should be able to start harvesting the spinach leaves about 4-6 weeks after you plant the seeds. Keep reading to learn more about how to grow spinach.
The grow those little seeds to a strong and healthy plant, cool damp weather are the best conditions. (completely opposite from what we usually have, so it will be interesting to see how our garden turns out). When planting them, make sure you put some space between them so they can “air out” to help prevent mold and mildew growth. Another way to help prevent this is to avoid watering in the evenings, and to make sure the leaves stay dry at night. Spinach prefers well drained soil that is high in nitrogen.
To harvest spinach, you will cut individual leaves off of the plant when they are big enough to eat. leave the younger inner leave to grow out. Cut about an inch above the crown of the base of the plant and the leaves should regrow. It grows quickly, so if you want to do a large crop, it it better to reseed every few weeks, rather than try and harvest the crop over time. If you leave it too long, it will go to seed.
Spinach is great to plant in spring (ending in May or June) and then again in the fall since it likes the cooler weather. Keeping it wet and in the shade of other trees/plants can prolong the growing time.
Make sure you wash it well before you eat it. If you are wanting to keep it in your refrigerator – it is best to NOT store it with apples, melons, or tomatoes.
If you want a more long term storage – you can freeze spinach and keep it for up to 6 months! Just wash the leaves well, allow them to dry a little before placing them into a resealable ziploc baggie. Put the baggie in the microwave (do not seal bag completely) on high for 1 minute, then push all the air out and seal the bag. Place in freezer (for 3-6 months).