Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that spinach is one of the healthiest veggies out there. Packed with vitamins and minerals, it make a great addition to nearly any diet. If that’s not enough, it’s also super easy to grow indoors and is one the few veggies that can be grown in low light. Read on to lean how to start growing spinach indoors!
Choosing The Container
When selecting a container to begin growing spinach indoors you’ll want to select one that is more wide than deep. For depth, 6-8 inches will usually do. For width, it depends on how much spinach you’re looking grow, but aim for at least a foot for small batches.
Due to the nature of how spinach grows, picking a wide pot is essential. This makes it a perfect candidate for planter boxes as they will provide ample room to grow. If that’s not an option, then using multiple pots is also acceptable.
Whatever you use to plant it, make sure it is well draining or is lined with an inch or so of rocks to prevent water stagnation.
If starting from seeds you’ll want to sow them roughly 1/2 inch deep directly into the pot or seeding tray. Leave around 3 inches between each seed. Once planted, they generally take 1-2 weeks to germinate depending on your growing conditions.
If starting in a seeding tray wait until 3-4 leaves appear on each plant before transplanting them to their permanent home.
Spinach is one of the few veggies that can be grown in partial shade, making it ideal for lots of gardeners. During the summer months placing it near a bright window, but partially back, will be enough to ensure it get’s proper sunlight. It also grows great in rooms that are naturally sunny, but that are not directly in the light.
However, during the cool fall/winter months you may need to move it to a location that gets more direct sunlight. This is due to the lessened intensity of light during this time period in some climates. While spinach can grow in shade, it still does need a decent dose of light per day.
Watering & Feeding
Take good care to avoid water stagnation as it can lead to diseases and the dreaded root rot. Check the soil every few days to see if the soil is still moist. If not, give it a decent amount of water to lightly soak the soil. Don’t drench it!
Spinach doesn’t usually require fertilizer. However, if you’re growing indoors you may want to every few months as the soil will start to lose nutrients. Use a nitrogen rich fertilizer to help replenish the soil and promote healthy growth. Use a weak strength fertilizer diluted to half strength for best results.
You can also repot the plant with new soil once a year to help recycle the soil.
You should begin to harvest your spinach plant once there are several leaves of 4-5 inches each. Simply pick off the larger, outer leaves while leaving the smaller ones so it will continue to grow.
During the summer, you may notice that the plant begins to form an erect stem and starts to flower. Once this happens the plants foliage will change in flavor and become more bitter. It’s a good idea to harvest before this happens for best flavor.
How To Stop Spinach From Bolting
Bolting, or the flowing described above is a large problem for spinach growers as it can ruin the flavor of the plant. The first step is to understand why spinach bolts in the first place.
Spinach bolting typically occurs in warmer weather, when the temperatures rise and the day is at its longest. The key then is the carefully control the temperature and sunlight that the spinach is exposed to.
For temperatures, anything over 75°F is going to induce bolting. You’ll want to keep the temperature below this. Spinach is a colder weather crop, so you’re likely not to harm the plant with any reasonable indoor temperature. Sitting in direct sunlight can inadvertently raise the temperature around the plant, which is why it is suggest to plant in partial shade.
If you’re growing outdoors, the best way to combat this is to plant early. This gives ample time for the spinach leaves to grow and be harvested before bolting occurs. As you can’t control the temperature outdoors it’s much more difficult to prevent.
You’re other option is use bolt resistant varieties. There are specifically engineered breeds of spinach that are less likely to bolt than others. The easiest options is probably to use one of these.
Growing Spinach Indoors
Spinach is an excellent addition to any garden, and makes a healthy snack to boot. Add onto that the ease of growing and there’s no reason not to be growing this delightful veggie! Comment down below if you’ve started to grow your own spinach!