How to Grow Spinach

Botanical Name: Spinacia Oleracea

Spinach originates from Persia. It is a leafy green vegetable with tender, dark green leaves. Spinach is nutrient-dense, providing vitamins, iron, and antioxidants, and is a versatile ingredient in various dishes.

Do you want to learn how to grow spinach? If so, let’s dive in.

  • How to Grow Spinach
  • How to Grow Spinach
Planting Guide Image

Spinach Planting Guide

Method

Seedlings or Direct

Sowing Depth

10 mm

Season

Cool

Germination

5-10 days @ 4-25°C

Hardiness / Life Cycle

Hardy Annual

Row Spacing

20 cm

Plant Spacing

15 – 20 cm

Position

Moderate Sun

Days Until Maturity

25 – 50 Days

Storage

Frozen blanched 12 months. Frozen fresh.

When to Plant Spinach in Australia

What growing
region am I in?
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Cool Plantable in Feb Plantable in Mar Plantable in Apr Plantable in May Plantable in Jun Plantable in Jul Plantable in Aug Plantable in Sep Plantable in Oct Plantable in Nov
Mild Plantable in Feb Plantable in Mar Plantable in Apr Plantable in May Plantable in Jun Plantable in Jul Plantable in Aug Plantable in Sep
Sub-Tropical Plantable in Mar Plantable in Apr Plantable in May Plantable in Jun Plantable in Jul
Tropical Plantable in Apr Plantable in May Plantable in Jun
Arid Plantable in May Plantable in Jun Plantable in Jul
Cool Mild Sub-Tropical Tropical Arid
Jan
Feb Plantable in Feb Plantable in Feb
Mar Plantable in Mar Plantable in Mar Plantable in Mar
Apr Plantable in Apr Plantable in Apr Plantable in Apr Plantable in Apr
May Plantable in May Plantable in May Plantable in May Plantable in May Plantable in May
Jun Plantable in Jun Plantable in Jun Plantable in Jun Plantable in Jun Plantable in Jun
Jul Plantable in Jul Plantable in Jul Plantable in Jul Plantable in Jul
Aug Plantable in Aug Plantable in Aug
Sep Plantable in Sep Plantable in Sep
Oct Plantable in Oct
Nov Plantable in Nov
Dec
What growing
region am I in?

Introduction

Spinach is a nutritious and versatile leafy green that thrives in a wide range of climates, making it an ideal addition to any Australian garden. Whether you have ample garden space or a small balcony, you can successfully grow spinach and enjoy its fresh and vibrant leaves throughout the year. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of cultivating spinach in Australia. From selecting the optimal planting time to addressing common growing issues, we’ll cover everything you need to know to grow healthy and bountiful spinach plants. Let’s get started!

When to Plant Spinach in Australia

The ideal time to plant spinach in Australia varies depending on your specific location and climate. Spinach is a cool-season crop that thrives in temperatures between 10°C to 24°C (50°F to 75°F). To ensure successful growth, it’s best to plant spinach during the cooler months, avoiding the extreme heat of summer.

In most regions of Australia, the optimal planting time for spinach is during autumn and spring. Planting in early autumn allows the spinach to establish strong roots before winter, ensuring a healthy crop for early spring harvesting. In spring, planting spinach before the weather becomes too warm allows for a productive harvest before the hot summer months.

In colder regions with mild winters, spinach can also be grown during winter. In warmer areas, such as northern regions, consider planting spinach in late winter or early spring to take advantage of the cooler temperatures.

To determine the best planting time for your specific location, consult your local gardening calendar or seek advice from experienced gardeners familiar with your region’s climate conditions. By planting spinach at the right time, you can enjoy a continuous supply of fresh and nutritious leaves throughout the growing season.

How Long Does Spinach Take to Grow

Spinach is a relatively fast-growing leafy green, and you can typically start harvesting baby spinach leaves within 30 to 40 days after sowing the seeds. For full-sized leaves, spinach takes around 45 to 60 days to reach maturity.

However, the actual time it takes for spinach to grow can vary depending on various factors, such as the spinach variety, growing conditions, and climate. Some spinach varieties are specifically bred for quicker growth and may be ready for harvest even earlier, within 25 to 30 days.

To speed up the growth of spinach, ensure the plants receive adequate sunlight, water, and nutrients. Spinach thrives in cooler temperatures, so planting it during the cooler months will promote faster growth.

Regularly harvesting the outer leaves of the spinach plant encourages new growth and prolongs the harvest period. Selectively picking mature leaves also prevents the plant from bolting (prematurely producing flowers and seeds), which can lead to bitter leaves and reduced productivity.

Spinach Growing Problems

While spinach is generally a low-maintenance crop, it can face some growing problems. Being aware of these issues and their solutions can help you cultivate healthy and productive spinach plants:

  1. Bolting: Bolting is the premature production of flowers and seeds in spinach, triggered by exposure to warmer temperatures. To prevent bolting, plant spinach during the cooler months and provide shade during heatwaves.
  2. Pests: Spinach can be susceptible to pests like aphids, slugs, and caterpillars. Regularly inspect your plants for signs of pest infestations and use organic pest control methods to protect the leaves.
  3. Diseases: Spinach may be prone to diseases such as downy mildew and leaf spot. Proper plant spacing, good air circulation, and well-draining soil can help prevent these diseases.
  4. Nutrient Deficiencies: Spinach requires adequate nutrients for healthy growth. If the leaves exhibit yellowing or discoloration, it may indicate nutrient deficiencies. Ensure proper fertilisation with a balanced fertiliser or compost to provide essential nutrients.
  5. Overwatering: Spinach prefers evenly moist soil but is sensitive to waterlogged conditions. Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot and other issues.

 

By addressing these problems proactively and providing proper care, you can overcome common spinach growing problems and cultivate thriving plants in your garden.

How to Grow Spinach in Pots

Growing spinach in pots is an excellent option for gardeners with limited space or those who prefer the convenience of container gardening. Here’s how to grow spinach in pots:

  1. Container Selection: Choose a container with a minimum capacity of 20 litres (5 gallons) to provide enough space for spinach roots to grow. Ensure the container has drainage holes at the bottom to prevent waterlogging.
  2. Potting Mix: Fill the container with a high-quality potting mix enriched with organic matter. Avoid using garden soil, as it may compact and hinder root growth.
  3. Seedlings or Seeds: Start with healthy spinach seedlings or sow spinach seeds directly into the potting mix. Plant the seeds at a depth of about 1 cm (0.4 inches) and space them approximately 5 to 7.5 cm (2 to 3 inches) apart.
  4. Sunlight and Watering: Place the container in a sunny location that receives at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily. Water the soil regularly to keep it consistently moist but not waterlogged.
  5. Fertilisation: Feed the plants with a balanced liquid fertiliser every two weeks or follow the package instructions for granular fertilisers. This provides the necessary nutrients for healthy growth and leaf production.
  6. Thinning: If you started with seeds, thin out the spinach seedlings to allow enough space for proper growth. Leave the healthiest-looking seedlings with sufficient spacing to grow and mature properly.
  7. Harvesting: Harvest the outer leaves of the spinach plant once they reach a suitable size, typically within 30 to 40 days after sowing. Leave the inner leaves to continue growing for future harvests.

 

By following these steps, you can successfully grow spinach in pots and enjoy a fresh supply of nutritious and flavorful greens from your patio or balcony.

How to Grow Spinach in Summer

Growing spinach in the summer can be challenging due to its preference for cooler temperatures. However, with proper care and some strategies, you can still cultivate spinach during the hot months. Here are some tips for growing spinach in summer:

  1. Shade and Sun Protection: Provide shade for the spinach plants during the hottest part of the day to protect them from intense sunlight. Use shade cloth or plant spinach in a spot that receives morning sun and afternoon shade.
  2. Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist to prevent the spinach plants from becoming stressed due to heat. Mulch around the plants to retain soil moisture and regulate soil temperature.
  3. Watering Schedule: Water the spinach plants early in the morning or late in the evening to minimise water loss through evaporation.
  4. Frequent Harvesting: Regularly harvest the outer leaves of the spinach plants to encourage new growth and prevent the plants from bolting.
  5. Select Heat-Tolerant Varieties: Choose spinach varieties that are specifically bred for heat tolerance. These varieties are more likely to withstand higher temperatures and continue producing leaves in hot weather.
  6. Succession Planting: Practice succession planting by sowing new batches of spinach seeds every few weeks. This allows you to stagger the harvest times and ensures a continuous supply of fresh leaves.
  7. Protect from Pests: Monitor the spinach plants regularly for signs of pest infestations and address them promptly using organic pest control methods.

 

By implementing these strategies, you can increase the chances of successfully growing spinach in the summer and enjoy a healthy and refreshing supply of greens even in warmer months.

Conclusion

Growing spinach in your Australian garden or even indoors is a rewarding and straightforward process. By planting spinach at the right time, providing proper care, and addressing common growing problems, you can enjoy a continuous supply of fresh and nutritious leaves throughout the year. Whether you have a vast backyard or limited space, spinach can thrive in garden beds, pots, or even regrow from kitchen scraps. By following the step-by-step guide in this article, you can cultivate healthy and bountiful spinach plants and add this versatile leafy green to your culinary creations. Happy gardening and bon appétit!