This small-leaved, annual vegetable does best in fertile soil, ideally with plenty of organic matter, which is well drained, but moisture-retentive. It will tolerate light shade, but do not sow seed in fast-drying soil, as this encourages young plants to run to seed before they are ready to be harvested. Because of its high nitrogen requirement, spinach responds well to a top dressing of a general fertiliser or, better still, sulphate of ammonia. Spinach is often harvested as a 'baby leaf' crop nowadays, although it usually reaches maturity about 10 weeks after sowing.
How to Sow and Grow Spinach
Sow outdoors thinly where they are to crop, 2.5cm (1”) deep directly into finely prepared soil which has already been watered. Late sowings from July onwards are best grown for baby salad leaves only. Allow 30cm (1’) between rows. Early and late sowings will benefit from frost protection, we highly recommend Envirofleece. Seedlings usually appear in 7-14 days. Water well and ensure soil remains moist to prevent plants running to seed, growing in a partially shaded location will help. Harvest unthinned as baby leaves. For cut and come again crops take a few leaves from each plant allowing them to regrow for further pickings. Or, thin to 10cm (4”) apart to produce mature plants. Regular sowings made every two to three weeks will ensure a continuous supply. Spinach is an ideal, versatile crop for Patio tubs and raised beds. For best results try GroChar All Purpose Compost, an organic alternative to peat. It has been proven to require less watering, delivers quicker establishment of plants for greater plant vigour while reducing the need for fertiliser.