How to Grow Spinach

Planting advice for how to grow spinach, recommended varieties and spinach recipes.

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Spinacia oleracea

Science has confirmed what Popeye knew: Spinach is good for you. Along with mega-doses of vitamins A and K, plus folate, manganese, magnesium and iron, spinach has flavonoids that can help fight certain cancers.

Hardiness: Grown as an annual.

Planting advice: Spinach thrives in cooler weather, so plant seeds in early spring. Sow about a dozen seeds per foot about 1/2 inch deep, with about 1 foot between rows. Thin to 2 to 4 inches apart when seedlings are 1 inch tall. For an extended harvest, plant successive batches for several more weeks.

Harvest tips: Matures in 39 to 48 days, depending on variety. Cut off leaves at ground level when they reach desired size; younger leaves taste better. When seed stalks form, harvest the rest of the crop.

Recommendations: Bloomsdale Long Standing (crinkly leaves), Indian Summer and Vienna (hybrid savoy, blight-resistant), Giant Nobel (plain leaf).

Source: Birds & Blooms "Grow Veggies for Less"