Spinach is a nutrient-rich, cool-season leafy green that prefers full sun to partial shade. It thrives in well-drained, fertile soil with a pH of 6.0-7.0. Amend the soil with organic matter or a balanced fertilizer before planting.
Spinach can be direct sown in the garden as early as the soil can be worked in the spring. For a fall crop, sow seeds in late summer. Spinach grows quickly and can be ready for harvest in as little as 4-6 weeks.
Sow spinach seeds 1/2 inch deep, spacing them 1-2 inches apart in rows 12-18 inches apart. Thin seedlings to 3-6 inches apart to allow for full leaf development. Keep the soil consistently moist to promote rapid growth and prevent bolting (going to seed).
For more information on growing spinach, including different varieties and care tips, refer to our comprehensive spinach grow guide.
Diseases, Insects, and Weeds
Common pests include leaf miners and aphids. Diseases like downy mildew can also affect spinach. Use row covers to protect plants and apply organic or chemical controls as needed. Good sanitation and crop rotation help prevent disease.
Harvest spinach leaves when they are large enough to eat. For baby spinach, pick leaves when they are small and tender. Cut leaves from the outside of the plant, allowing the inner leaves to continue growing.
Storage and Preservation
Spinach can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. For longer storage, blanch and freeze the leaves. Spinach can also be added to soups and stews, or used in canned dishes.