Best tips for growing spinach at home
Spinach is a cool season leafy vegetable. Known for lush green foliage spinach is rich in iron, vitamins and anti oxidants. Spinach crop can be harvested after 6-8 weeks from planting. In warm climate spinach tends to produce seeds rather than growing the foliage. So harvest it at right time. It is called as ‘Palak’ in Hindi. Spinach can be grown in containers at home, follow below tips for success.
Spinach is propagated from seeds. Prepare soil enriched with garden compost and sow seeds ½ inch deep and 1 inch apart. Water the soil without affecting seeds. Seeds germinate in a week. Then thin out the weakest seedlings and create 3-4 inches of space between two consecutive seedlings. This increases air circulation around the crop and minimizes the chances of any fungal attack. Buy quality and branded spinach seeds from here.
Prefer a tray to regular pots or container to propagate spinach, tray being 3-4 feet long provides a large surface area for sowing more number of seeds. Planting tray should have sufficient number of holes at bottom. You can put small pieces of bricks or stones over the holes to help with drainage.
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Spinach grows in any type of well drained soil. However loamy soil is ideal. Soil should be loose too so that spinach seedlings could establish roots easily and quickly. Add a fine layer of garden compost to the soil. It will provide nutrients to the plants.
Spinach thrives in full direct sunlight. It should get minimum 5 hrs of sunlight. So place your container where it gets that much light like east facing window or balcony. Partial shade is beneficial for spinach.
Spinach is a humidity loving plant. Mulch the soil using dried leaves, straws etc to retain moisture around the plant. Water spinach regularly. Keep soil moist.
Spinach doesn’t have feeding requirements. Good quality compost works well as fertilizer. If you want feed the plant with nitrogen based fertilizer as it promotes foliage growth on the plant.
Start harvesting crop after 6-8 weeks of planting. Cut off outer leaves which are 3-4 inches long. It will encourage more growth on the plant and ultimately results in more foliage to harvest. Remember
to harvest the crop completely before plant blots and produces seeds. (Generally when temperature rises the plant tends to flower and fruit due to increased temperature and stops producing more leaves)
Spinach plant can be attacked by mealy bugs, aphid and slugs. So inspect the crop regularly and treat it on time.
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