Spinach, Annual

Mar / Apr, May / Jun, Jul / Aug
May / Jun, Jul / Aug, Sep / Oct
Indoors | Outdoors

Why Grow It

If you are looking for the traditional spinach leaves purchased in supermarkets, then annual spinach is the plant for you. Don’t confuse this plant with perpetual spinach, which is actually just another name for chard. Tender spinach leaves are a wonderful addition to salads. Spinach is very good for you and cooked properly can be very tasty.

  • Spinach will grow in most reasonable soil, though will grow better if the soil has compost and fertiliser added a week or two before sowing/transplanting.
  • Seeds can be sown from April to August, through July and August sowings are less likely to bolt.
  • Spinach can be sown direct or started in modules. However bolting, which is a major problem with spinach, is more likely with transplanted spinach.
  • Sow thinly 1-2cm deep in rows 25cm apart or 1 seed per module.
  • Thin the plants to 10cm apart.
  • Transplant module-grown plants 10cm apart in 25cm rows.
  • Never allow the soil to dry out as this can lead to bolting.
  • Spinach will be ready to harvest 8-10 weeks after sowing.
  • Spinach can be harvested by carefully removing individual leaves or cutting the whole plant 2-3 cm above soil level – it will sprout new leaves and you will be able to crop again in a few weeks.
  • Slugs can damage young seedlings – keep the area clear, and use a trap or a less toxic slug killer, such as iron phosphate.
  • Downy mildew can be an issue – this is encouraged by high humidity so try to keep leaves as dry as possible, give plants plenty of space and avoid watering in the evening.
  • Small, tender spinach leaves make an excellent addition to salads.
  • Summer sowings are better done direct in the soil to prevent bolting.