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|Seed Depth||Seed Spacing||Soil Temp for Germ.||Days to Germ.||Thin Plants To||Approximately 80 seeds per gram.|
Spinacia oleracea: The Northwest's favorable conditions for spinach production allow us to focus our selection criteria on flavor, vigor, and bolt and disease resistance. The highest-protein vegetable, leafy spinach greens boast an unmatched, synergistic complement of vitamins, minerals, flavonoids and carotenoids that when combined, protect eyesight, help prevent the buildup of cholesterol, and target cancer-causing free radicals.
CULTURE: Spinach requires rich, fertile soil with plenty of organic matter. It is adversely sensitive to uneven moisture and acidic soils, and the optimum pH range is 6.5-7.5. Spinach is best grown during the cooler weather of spring and fall. Because nitrogen cycling is slower during cooler temperatures, use fertilizers that release nutrients quickly such as blood meal, fishmeal, bone meal, composted chicken manure, or feather meal. Nitrogen supplied during growth greatly increases the size and quality of your spinach. After soil has warmed and can be worked, sow seeds in rows at least 12 inches apart. Higher soil temperatures can cause erratic germination. The most favorable air temperatures for spinach are 60-65°F. Keep the bed uniformly moist for best results. For baby spinach, sow about 35-40 seeds per foot in a 2 inch wide furrow. Thin to 1 inch apart. Pay attention to seasonal differences between varieties. Summer selections are more resistant to bolting, but rising temperatures, longer days, and water or nutrient stress all contribute towards a plant's inclination to bolt. Later sowings may be done in July and August.
HARVEST: For baby greens, harvest when leaves are 3-4 inches. Individual leaves may be harvested anytime, or harvest the entire plant when it reaches maturity, just prior to bolting. Rinse in cold water and store at 32°F and 95% relative humidity.
INSECTS/PESTS: If your spinach leaves have a blotchy appearance, chances are you have spinach leaf miners. Destroy any affected leaves and keep the surrounding area weeded.
DISEASE: The key to prevention is planting in fertile soil and using a 3-year crop rotation.
SEED SPECS: Minimum germination standard: 65%. Usual seed life: 1 year.