gardenwatercanNormally speaking of Spinach.  Most people go Yuk with a frown of hatred for it.  I planted Spinach last year for the first time.  This vegetable was never a vegetable that my father planted.  I am sure if I had of told him that I liked it, he would have planted it just for me.  Especially since I was a little girl, very skinny and could have used all the nutrients that Spinach could offer.  When I was a little girl I didn’t like vegetables.  My Father being a serious gardener that he was, would have planted anything I wanted. He had a green thumb.  His fall garden  consisted of Turnip, Mustard, Collard, onions. I don’t think my parents were too fond of  Spinach.  I am much older now and I love it.  So does my son.  Last year when I planted 2 small rows.  My son kept asking for more.  It being my first year I had  a lot to learn on growing Spinach.  I still have lots to learn. With gardening, I have learned to expect the unexpected.  Every year gardening can go well. Sometimes gardening can turn out as a failure.  Such as mine to this years crop of tomatoes.  Too much rain and I lost all my tomatoes.  If your interested you can read my post  “Oh No, Not My tomatoes” !  I am praying for the better this year.

Godsmile

New England Spinach planted September 26th

I am looking forward to a good crop of Spinach.  This year I planted 4 rows of it.  If all goes well and the Lord is willing, I’ll  more than enough.  This year I planted New England Spinach different from last years.  I can’t remember what kind of seed I planted last year.  Possibly Savoy Spinach.  The only thing I can remember is that the Spinach I planted was a very small seed. The leaves were sorta curled.

NE Spinach is a much larger seed.  And from all I have read is supposedly a larger leaf. By the picture below so far so good. It seems to be doing well. Difference in it from last year is that it has a larger leaf.

New England Spinach

NEW ENGLAND SPINACH (collected information below)

Spinach is a hardy cool weather crop, ideal for an early New England market. Temperature for optimum production and high quality is 55°F to 60°F with day length of approximately 12 hours. Seed will germinate at soil temperatures of 32°F to 60°F and the young plants can withstand temperatures as low as 15°F to 20°F. Under the hot temperatures and long days of summer, spinach will bolt (develop a seed stalk and go to seed), which makes it unmarketable. The tendency to bolt varies with the cultivar, some being more resistant than others.

Spinach is grown for use as a cooked green vegetable or for greens in a salad. Growers who want greens for the market in the summer should consider beet greens and/or Swiss chard as substitutes. They produce well under high temperature and long day conditions.

There are two main types of spinach: smooth leaf and savoy (crinkled leaf). Both grow equally well and are marketed the same, but the savoy type, because of its crinkled leaf, is more difficult to clean.

Spinach can be seeded in the spring as soon as the soil can be worked. Sandy soils are generally preferred because they drain early and warm a little quicker. Two main crops are generally grown, one in the spring, another in late summer, seeded about six weeks before the average first frost. Growers in New England are having some success with overwintering spinach. A floating row cover can be used for protection. For overwintering spinach, particularly in northern areas, an early September seeding date is suggested. Survival of the early crop has been satisfactory following a mild winter with good snow cover.

Normally, plan on 40 to 50 days to harvest under good growing conditions, with 60 to 70 days for very early plantings. Good yields for fresh market will range from 5 to 7 tons/A and 10 to 12 tons/A for processing. Market spinach is usually washed before marketing, and if cut early in the day and iced, can have a storage life of 10 to 14 days. The most common containers are bushel baskets, tubs or crates, each holding 18 to 25 lb.

Spacing and Seeding

Desired plant stand is 6 to 8 plants per foot of row and 12” between rows. This requires 8 to 10 lbs of seed per acre (1/2 to 1 oz per 100 feet of row). Seed 1/4” to 1/2” deep depending on soil moisture and temperature. Deeper planting is suggested in a warm dry soil. Growers should attempt to seed to a stand as thinning is generally not recommended.

Lime

Apply lime according to soil test results to maintain soil pH at 6.5 to 6.8. Soils with low pH will result in slow growth and chlorotic leaves.

Fertilizer

Because of sensitivity to magnesium deficiency, older spinach leaves may tend to show yellow color similar to a nitrogen deficiency. Low levels of magnesium in the soil can be corrected by using high magnesium lime (dolomitic) or by adding magnesium to the fertilizer. Do not automatically apply more nitrogen to try to develop the desired deep green color. Rather make a topical application of 10 to 15 lb magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) in 100 gal water. Spray to wet the foliage.

If magnesium was deficient, you will see a color change to dark green overnight. Spinach will accumulate excess nitrates if nitrogen is used in an attempt to induce green color. It is always best to check for magnesium problems before applying extra nitrogen if plants have chlorotic pale green color or yellow lower leaves.

Promote efficient nitrogen use by sidedressing nitrogen when crop need is apparent. Avoid putting fertilizer directly onto crop foliage.

Less nitrogen fertilizer will be needed if manure or legume sod was plowed down (see nitrogen credits).

Harvest

Spinach can be harvested from 37 to 45 days after seeding. The entire plant can be cut off just above ground level when there are five to six leaves. Higher yields result when plants have 10 to 12 leaves.

Spinach should be kept cool and shaded after harvest. Spinach harvested early in the day, then iced will have a much better shelf life. Storage life is 10 to 14 days.

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Planted Left over Spinach seed from last year. October 24th.

In between the NE Spinach I planted some seed of the other kind that I had good luck with last year.  The NE Spinach with all the space in between didn’t seem like a lot of spinach.  So I thought I would plant this in between all the New England plants.

This picture taken yesterday, shows it sprouting up quickly.

NE along with last years Spinach

Here NE is the larger.  Fresh small sprouts of the seeds just planted  is already showing .

(look closely it looks like small blades of grass)

This is a picture I took Nov 2nd.  Spinach seems to be growing slowly.  The temperatures are still reaching the high 70’s by mid afternoon.

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TodayNOVEMBER 20th Saturday evening

I cut most all the mature leaves off, even some of the stems along with the leaf.  I am not sure if this is the right thing to do.  We’ll see.  Largest leaves are now about 3″ long and 2″wide.   So pretty and dark green.  I hate I didn’t take the time to take a picture of it.  I just took it inside rinsed it off very well and put it in a plastic bag into the refrig for salad. Maybe next time I will remember to take a picture.  After I got through picking the spinach and pulling weeds from around it.  I side dressed the spinach with 10-0-10 fertilizer. Then watered it in well.

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March 15th 2010 

Today I harvested the last of my spinach.   Now into the month of March.  This spinach seems to be growing well.  The tempertures are only in the mid 70’s.  Very nice weather.  I hate to pull this Spinach up. but I am now getting my garden ready for planting of Spring vegetables.

 

 

 

This picture was taken same time and same day.  *Just a darker image..

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