Spinach is a cool weather crop whose tender baby leaves can be used for salads and full sized leaves in cooked dishes. Spinach is higher in iron, calcium, and vitamins than most cultivated greens, and one of the best sources of vitamins A, B, and C.
For soil, use a fertile well-draining potting mix that’s tailored for vegetables. Spinach germinates and grows best in cool soil. For the best quality leaves, provide full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight).
Spinach is best grown by directly planting in the garden, as opposed to transplanting. Begin planting in early spring as soon as the ground can be worked. Use our
grow calendar tool to find specific dates for your region! Seeds germinate in 7-14 days.
For mature leaves, plant 10 seeds per foot, ½" deep, and thin seedlings to 6" apart as they grow. Summer sowing in soil over 85°F risks low or erratic germination.
For baby leaf growth, plant seeds 3/4" apart in a 2-4" wide band, about 40 seeds/ft. Do not thin. For a continuous supply, sow every 7 days.
Pests and Disease
Downy Mildew is a devastating disease of spinach. Avoid overhead and/or late-afternoon irrigation, and increase plant spacing to enhance air circulation. Cover seedlings with floating row cover to prevent insect damage.
When plants are 10-12” tall, cut the whole plant just below the crown. Don’t wait too long to harvest or wait for larger leaves; bitterness will set in quickly after maturity. Remove any old, dirty, or yellowed leaves. Wash carefully to remove soil and grit, but be gentle to avoid bruising the tender leaves.
For baby leaf harvest, cut at 2–4 inches tall and wash. Spinach keeps in the refrigerator for about a week.