Spinach is a leafy green praised by experts on nutrition and cartoon sailors alike. Spinach is an early crop which grows best when sown directly into the garden. This can be done as early as 6 weeks prior to the final frost date. In Passaic County, New Jersey frost rarely occurs after April 20th.
Soil for the spinach patch may be encouraged to warm up and dry out by covering it with clear plastic on sunny days thus amplifying the sun’s warmth. When the soil temperature reaches and maintains at 35 degrees spinach seeds may safely be sown.
Sow seeds ½ deep in soil to which compost has been added. Spinach thrives on potassium so if wood ashes are not a component of the compost available, add several shovels of hardwood ashes to it before working it into the soil.
Spinach seeds can take as long as 14 days to germinate; this time may be shortened by soaking the seeds in water overnight the night before planting. Adding a spoonful or two of vinegar to the water is also helpful.
Plants should be spaced about 5 inches apart, on center.
Weed scrupulously; spinach does not like competition from weeds. Mulch as soon as the weather turns warm to keep spinach cooler and extend the harvest. Keep the soil moist.
Plants mature in 50 days or less but use all of the spinach before warm weather sets in, spinach bolts at the first sign of heat. Cut fresh and use immediately for best taste. Fortunately, excess spinach can be frozen and canned without losing much of its flavor.
Use the space where the spinach grew for a late starting crop; squash or melons perhaps.
Packed with vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants spinach is as good for health as it is good to eat. Be sure to include this nutritional powerhouse in your next seed order.
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