Spinach is a leafy green vegetable that is hardy in nature. It likes to grow in cold temperatures and will be useful to grow in early springs, fall, or even during winters. Spinach is very rich in nutrition and is an excellent source for many vitamins like vitamins A, B, C, and minerals like iron and calcium.
It can be eaten raw and added to your salads, or you can also cook it and make vegetables and other dishes out of it. Having spinach in your Square foot garden is an excellent choice of leafy vegetable as it provides you with good nutrition and taste at the same time. In addition to that, it is also easy to grow spinach, and when it is grown in the form of square foot gardening Spinach, you can have great products with ease, even if you are a beginner.
Benefits of spinach
Not only is spinach good in taste and can be added in your salads and even cooked in many dishes, but they are also very rich in nutrients. If you grow spinach, you will get a good taste in food and too many nutritional benefits like vitamins A, C, and K, iron, magnesium, and manganese. Some of the benefits of growing spinach are-
- Strengthens Eyesight- one of the essential benefits of having spinach is that it improves our eyesight. Spinach contains lutein and zeaxanthin that shield our eyes, acting as a sunblock from light.
- Improves immunity- spinach has vitamin C that helps in boosting our immunity system and helps us stay fit.
- Gives strength to bones- since spinach is a good source of vitamin K, vitamin D, calcium, potassium, magnesium, etc, it improves the strength of our bones.
- Provides energy – spinach also helps you stay energetic to do your daily chores by delivering magnesium and gives strength to our body.
- Keeps heart healthy – they contain nitrite that helps in preventing heart attacks and such heart problems. Spinach has lutein in it that helps in preventing the walls of arteries to get thickened which also helps in preventing heart attack.
Square Foot Gardening Spinach
Square Foot Gardening Spinach can be grown in cool temperatures over warm climates. So the exact time that you should start growing your spinach will vary according to the zone of America that you live in. However, you can start with the spinach seeds’ early spring growth when the temperature is cold and not warmer than 21 degrees Celsius or 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
It is the ideal temperature for the germination of spinach seeds. Spinach plants like temperature conditions ranging from 35 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit or 1 to 23 degrees celsius.
Then you can also grow spinach when the temperature drops down at the beginning of the fall season when the soil temperature starts to fall. However, midsummers are not suitable for developing them since the weather is high during that time, and spinach is hardy leafy vegetables like cold temperatures. Hence you can start growing spinach plants during early springs or during fall or during both the seasons.
Although spinach loves cold climatic conditions when it comes to sunlight, the plant likes full sunlight exposure. Therefore when planting spinach in your square foot garden, you should choose a place where you can get maximum sunlight exposure throughout the day. If not full direct sunlight, then they can also do fine in partial shade as well.
While growing Square Foot Gardening Spinach, it is essential to use a potting mix that is very rich and has high nutritional value. Since in the square foot gardening Spinach method of growing, the seeds are sown at proper intervals, and it requires the soil to be rich in nutritional value to help in growing a healthy yield. The soil should also be well-drained so that the plant’s roots don’t rot due to waterlogging.
You can use a potting mix with equal parts of peat moss, compost, and vermiculture in square foot gardening. This potting mix will provide superb nutrition to the spinach plant. You can use your garden ground and add this potting mix on the garden ground and make a raised bed of 4 feet by 4 feet or 4 feet by 8 feet or any other size as per your requirements. Then you can divide this raised bed into square feet areas that are 12 inches by 12 inches of mini gardening areas.
You can get upto 16 such square foot areas in a 4 by 4 feet square garden. Use them for growing one kind of plant in each square foot and use more than one square foot space to grow spinach plants as per your growing requirements. It can also be used for wooden frames with a depth of around 6 inches deep and fill it in with the potting mix of peat moss, compost, and vermiculture in equal ratio.
For growing spinach plants, we can start directly with seeds and even with seedlings transplant. You can start with growing seeds and letting them germinate indoors. However, it is difficult to transplant the seedlings of spinach plants. Hence, it is not recommended. You can sow the seeds directly outdoors in your square foot garden in early spring as soon as the snow thaws.
For planting seeds, you must plant them ½ to 1 inch deep in the soil. Then cover it with the potting mix of compost, vermiculture, and peat moss. By utilizing this square feet garden area, we can plant nine spinach plants in each square foot. If you want to grow more than nine plants you can use as many such square foot areas to grow your spinach plants. But in each square foot area, you can plant nine spinach plants. Hence you can decide the number of plants accordingly.
You can start with planting seeds in the four corners of the square foot and then sow them in rows so that there is a growing space of 4-inch diameter for each plant. Make the spacing arrangements like this right from the beginning itself since if you want to change the spacing later on when the plant grows, you might end up hurting the roots.
In order to make this spacing easier, you can draw two horizontal and 2 vertical lines of equal spacing in each square foot. By doing this, you will get nine mini spaces of similar distance. Now you can use each room to sow the seeds in the middle of each area. Using this way, you can quickly provide the right spacing to let the plants grow healthy and it will also be easier for you to harvest the plants grown in such rows.
Spinach likes to grow in a moist loamy soil. Hence in order for the plant to grow well, you should make sure that the earth is always wet. You should water the plants regularly. Try not to over water it since overwatering can cause the roots to rot. You can use a mulch to cover the soil to keep it moist. For watering the plant yan use a can or a light shower as that will help in lowering the pressure with which the water flows on the plants and help in protecting the soil from washing away and prevent damage of roots.
Also, water the plants at the ground level and not from the top of the plant to avoid the young and tender foliage from damage. You can water the spinach plants once or twice a week in winters and even twice a day in summers. To see if the plant needs water, you can also touch the top part of the soil to check if it is dry or moist and then decide the quantity and timing of water as it will also depend on the weather conditions.
The soil mix that you are using for growing square foot gardening Spinach plants is the equal mix of peat moss, compost, and vermiculture is very rich in fertilizing the plants already. But if you think the plants need more requirements and nourishment, you can make compost tea.
For that, you can heat some water and put some compost in a cloth and dip it in the water. After some time, when the water has soaked in the compost’s nutrients, wait for the water to cool down and add this water to the crop to give it a nutrient boost.
Spinach plants take around 6 weeks to grow from seeds and mature. To harvest the plants, you must keep checking on the size of the plant’s leaves till they are large enough for your taste. If the leaves get too large, the flavor will be lost, and it will become bitter. You can start picking the leaves when you require them, or you can also harvest the whole plant from the base.
If you choose leaves from the plant’s outer regions, the younger tender leaves on the inside will get some more time to mature, and you can harvest them later. Or you can simply harvest the whole plant if you want.
Varieties of Spinach
You can grow spinach depending upon the climatic conditions required for the different spinach varieties to grow in. Hence it will depend on the zone of America that you live in and it will also depend on your choice and preferences for choosing the best variety of spinach to grow.
Spinach grows of three different types being
- Savoy – this type of spinach plant is excellent when it comes to handling the cold weather and is better than most on that thing. The leaves of savoy type of plants are somewhat crinkled; that leaves’ surface is many crinkles on the leaves’ surface. The soil sometimes gets into these wrinkles on the plate, and you have to clean it off, which becomes a chore when you get the soil splashes in these wrinkles on the leaves.
- Semi savoy – this type of spinach has lesser crinkles in it as compared and are easy to be washed and cleaned as the soil splashes have lesser grit in the leaf wrinkles as compared. What makes it the best choice to be grown is that they are better at being disease resistant.
- Smooth Flat leafed – many gardeners prefer this type of spinach because their leaves are soft and are very easy to clean.
You can find many varieties in all these types of spinach plants. You can also get varieties of spinach plants depending on the seasons they are best to grow in being the ones that can be grown well in cold temperatures of spring and fall, and you can also find the varieties of spinach that can be grown in summers as well.
Varieties of spinach plants in savoy type
Some of the varieties that you can choose from in the savoy type of plants are:-
- Bloomsdale – the leaves of this variety of spinach are thick, and they can handle cold temperatures very well. They are classic varieties, and they give a very high yield in the summer harvest. One issue is that they have a limited bolt resistance.
- Regiment- this variety is a hybrid variety, and the average harvest time is 37 days. The leaves are deep green in color, and they are tender even when the leaves grow large. The plant gives a high yield.
Varieties of spinach plants in semi savoy type
Some of the varieties that you can choose from in the semi savoy type of plants are:-
- Teton – the leaves of this spinach variety is dark green in color and are oval in shape. They are semi savoy, that is, the leaves are less wrinkled and tender. The plant takes 40to 45 days to mature, and the plant is slow to bolt.
- Catalina – the leaves of the Catalina variety is thick like succulent and are spear-shaped. They take 48 days to mature, and their bolt resistance is moderate.
- Tyee – this variety can be grown all year in mild winter regions and 45 days to mature. The leaves are vigorous and dark green in color. They have upright growth and are excellent bolt resistant.
Varieties of spinach plants in Smooth Flat leafed type
Some of the varieties that you can choose from in the semi savoy type of plants are:-
- Red cardinal – the plant’s stems are red in color, and the leaves also have red color veins just like beet leaves. They take around 25 to 30 days to mature. They are suitable to be harvested young as they have an excellent flavor to be used in your salads. However, they bolt faster than other green leafed spinach.
- Space – these take around 45 days to grow and are slow to bolt compared to other smooth leaves type plants.
Is square foot gardening worth it?
By using square foot gardening, we are able to grow more plants in smaller spaces and that too in an organized manner, which also gives us greater yield. So not only is it suitable for beginners, but it also gives us the right product by utilizing the limited space.
It is done by turning a raised bed of 4 by 4 feet or four by 8 feet into small segments of a square foot each and then utilizing them to grow the same plant by using proper spacing and rows. The soil used for square foot gardening is also super-rich in nutrition for plants since in square foot gardening, Spinach we use equal ratios of compost, vermiculture, and peat moss. We are also able to use our limited space by utilizing the vertical space in this method. So yes, square foot gardening is worth it.
Will spinach grow back after cutting?
Spinach is a plant that you can either harvest for once and pick the plant’s leaves or pick the whole plant at once, or you can also use the ‘pick and come again’ method. That means that yes, spinach leaves can be grown back after the first harvest for two or three times more.
But for that, it depends that the harvesting period still has weather that is cool and suitable for the plant to regrow its leaves. Also, make sure that the nodes from where the leaves were harvested during the first harvest are not damaged and will be able to regrow the leaves again.
It may take 2 to 4 weeks for the spinach plants to regrow the leaves after the first harvest.
How many times can you harvest spinach?
The time period that a spinach plant takes to mature from seeds varies according to the type and variety of spinach you are growing in addition to other conditions that are suitable for it to grow well. However, it takes about six weeks or 37 to 45 days for a spinach seed to turn into a mature plant on average.
It will depend on the size of leaves that are suitable for your taste and help you decide whether you want to harvest the plant for the time being. If you let the leaves grow too large, they may turn bitter, spoiling spinach’s flavor.
You can harvest the whole plant at once, or you can also pick leaves depending on your use. It will be better to choose the outer leaves that have fully grown while letting the tender ones grow during the harvesting season.
So you can harvest as many times as you want to during the harvesting season, depending upon your needs. You can pick a few leaves when you require and the rest later. Or you can also let the leaves regrow in the plant and harvest the spinach for the entire harvesting season.
How often should you water spinach plants?
The spinach plants like a loamy soil that is moist to touch. If you get rain in the zone of America you are located in, it should be enough if the plants reach 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week. However, it doesn’t rain in your region; you can water the plants upto 3 to 4 times a week.
Make sure that you water the plants lightly and do not soak them too much at once. If you add too much water, there is a chance that the plants’ roots might rot. Also, use a can or a shower to water the plants lightly so that the soil doesn’t get washed away, and there is no damage done to the roots.
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On hearing the word spinach, most of us get reminded of ‘popeye the sailor man’ where it was evident that adding leafy green spinach to our diet is extremely nutritious for us and provides us strength. Not only does it give us the many nutritional benefits that it has, but also it has a good flavor, and we can add them to our salads or cook many kinds of dishes with it.
Growing spinach is a great and easy way to add leafy greens to our diet. Using a square foot gardening method to grow spinach will be very helpful to you even if you are a beginner. If you take care of the right potting mix and the spacing requirements in each square foot, that is nine plants per square foot; you can grow them very efficiently and have excellent yields. By taking care of the temperature and season requirements, the sun and water requirements, and the ways of harvesting, as mentioned, you can have a good yield this year to keep on regrowing and harvesting spinach all through the harvesting season.
Also, we have tried to mention every aspect you need to know about Square Foot Gardening Spinach. If you have any issues while growing it in your garden, you can let us know in the comment section so that we can help you out positively. Make sure to read out every aspect carefully so that you are not stuck at any point as a beginner.
I’m Elsa, and I love gardening. I started GardeningElsa.com as a resource for other gardeners, and I offer expert advice on gardening topics such as plants, flowers, herbs, and vegetable gardening. On my website, I share my latest tips and tricks for creating beautiful gardens. When I’m not working on my website, you can find me in my own garden, tending to my plants and flowers. Read more about me.