Spinach isn’t just a fancy food for cartoon heroes. Remember Popeye’s (the sailor man) love for the superfood that turned him into a strong macho guy? It has plenty of fantastic health benefits that it won’t hurt you to cook some every week. The good news is that you can grow spinach just about anyway in containers and it doesn’t need too much sun either. So why not pot some today? Here’s how to grow spinach in containers.
How to Grow Spinach in Containers
Spinach can be grown from seeds or you can plant a stem from a store bought bunch and it will start growing. If you are sowing the seeds, you can expect the seeds to germinate within 5-14 days. If you replant a stem, it should take about a week to start growing. Here are the ideal conditions for growing spinach. (image credit)
Spinach plants don’t require big, deep pots for growing. Rather a wide pot or broad wooden crates should do nicely. You can even use small grow bags and plant one or 2 plants in each one. Leave enough space for the leaves to grow wide. Leave at least 5 inches between each plant to get big leaves.
Spinach plants don’t require too much sun to grow. Place them in a spot that receives partial shade and they will be very happy. If you plant spinach in hot, humid conditions, they will bolt and start to seed early so avoid placing them in full sun.
For growing spinach in containers, use good quality potting mix with a good chunk of organic compost. The soil must be crumbly and loose for good drainage.
Spinach is one of those easy growing plants that don’t require too much attention. When it comes to watering the plant, keep the soil moist but not wet or soggy. Also ensure that you don’t wet the leaves.
You can boost spinach growth by providing it with a slow release nitrogen based fertilizer at the time of potting. Feeding the plant with fish emulsion, compost or manure tea midway is also recommended. I add a liquid seaweed fertilizer once a month.
Spinach plants don’t attract pests. However, watch out for leaf-eating insects like slugs and caterpillars and they may eat up the tasty leaves before you do.
You can start harvesting the leaves after at least 5-6 healthy leaves are formed. You can pick the outer leaves first and leave the new leaves to keep growing or you can cut the plant at the base or the stem so that the plant will re-sprout again. If you see an erect stem, small yellow or green flowers developing and thick leaves, it is a sign that the plant is bolting so harvest the plant before it starts flowering for better taste.