Spinach is an edible angiosperm from the Chenopodiaceae and was native to Asia. Spinach may be a popular vegetable loaded with nutritional value and thought of by nutritional experts to be a “superfood”. Superfoods are foods that are known to assist reduce cholesterol, the danger of heart condition, and cancer. Spinach is high in vitamin K, Folate, Vitamin A, C, and Beta Carotene. It also contains iron, calcium, and maybe a great anti-oxidant.
Spinach is often prepared during a sort of way including both cooked and raw. it’s a really hardy cool-season vegetable that grows well within the home garden and maybe planted multiple times for successive harvests (both in spring and fall).
CONDITIONS FOR GROWING SPINACH
Spinach may be a cool-season vegetable that will tolerate colder weather and frosts. Spinach needs full to part-sun and moist, organically rich soil. Spinach doesn’t grow well in highly acidic soils and performs best with a pH range of 6.3-6.8. Adding lime to your soil could also be necessary. to work out your soil conditions before any amendments, have a soil test performed. Your local extension office can perform a soil test.
Spinach may be a very cold-hardy plant and may be sown directly into the garden as soon because the soil is often worked within the spring. In southern states, spinach seedlings or seeds from the prior season may begin growing again in early spring, even with snow still on the ground! If you sow successively (every few weeks) you’ll enjoy your spinach over an extended period of your time. Seeds should be planted about 1/2 an in. within the soil and spaced about 2-4 inches apart in rows 18-24 inches apart.
It is best to sow freshly purchased seeds and not seeds saved from the last season. Sow about 15-20 seeds per each linear foot of soil. Water the seeds well after planting. If your soil features a high level of organic matter, fertilizer isn’t necessary; if not, a fertilizer high in nitrogen should be mixed into the soil during planting. Once the plants start to grow, you’ll thin them to about 4 inches apart. Placing top mulch down will help to conserve moisture.
CARE FOR SPINACH PLANTS
Spinach should receive about an in. of water per week. If there has been little rainfall you’ll supplement by hand watering. As your spinach grows you’ll probably get to thin the seedlings unless you’re harvesting the plants at an equivalent time (as well because the entire plant) takes care to not disturb the opposite plant’s roots as you pull.
Weed as necessary but, again, take care to not disrupt the delicate and shallow rootage of the spinach. Adding a side dressing of nitrogen every 2-3 weeks will help ensure a healthy crop with deep green leaves.
Spinach takes about 40-50 days to mature. Your individual preference also will determine once you harvest the leaves. Some people like better to eat smaller leaves, others larger. If you are doing not harvest the whole plant, pick the outer leaves first. The inner leaves will still grow and maybe harvested later.
Spinach won’t keep for long after harvesting. the simplest time to eat them, both for flavor and nutrient value, is true after picking. be sure to scrub the leaves well before eating. Spinach is often stored within the refrigerator for a couple of days (wash and dry them first) if you are doing not eat them directly.
SPINACH DISEASES AND PESTS
Downy mildew and other fungal diseases
Blight disease also called cucumber mosaic disease. Planting disease-resistant types will prevent this.
Leafminers: Adult females will poke holes within the leaves to prey on sap. Their eggs are left on leaves. The larvae that hatch days later and prey on the plant leaves, eventually making them inedible. There are both organic and chemical treatments for leafminer control.
Caterpillars, including cabbage loopers, armyworms, and corn earworms. Caterpillars eat and destroy the spinach leaves. Inspect your plants closely for infestations. If the numbers are small, you’ll physically remove the worms and eliminate them without further treatment. If the numbers become larger, there are both organic and chemical pesticides available to use.
VARIETIES OF SPINACH
The University of Illinois horticulture department’s website, Watch Your Garden Grow, recommends trying the subsequent varieties:
Bloomsdale Long Standing (48 days to harvest; thick, very crinkly, glossy dark green leaves)
Winter Bloomsdale (45 days, tolerant to cucumber mosaic virus, slow to bolt, cold tolerant, good for over-wintering)
Indian Summer (39 days; semi-savoy; immune to false mildew races 1 and a couple of, tolerant to spinach blight)
Melody (42 days; lightly crinkled; immune to false mildew, mosaic; good spring or fall)
Tyee (39 days; dark green; heavily savoyed; tolerant to downy mildew; spring, fall or winter)
Vienna (40 days; very savoyed; medium to long-standing; tolerant to false mildew races 1 and a couple of also as spinach blight)
Giant Nobel (43 days; large, smooth leaves; long-standing).
Olympia (46 days; slow to bolt; spring, summer harvest).