Spinach can be easily grown in pots. You can sow the seeds 1/2 inches deep directly in the container or in a seed tray. The seedlings will germinate within five to fourteen days, although it depends on the variety and the growing conditions. If you sow the Spinach seeds in a seed tray you have to wait until about two to three leaves has appear on each of the plant before you transplant them into the original pots carefully.
Choosing a pot for growing spinach
If you want to grow spinach in a pot you have to choose a pot that is at least six to eight inches deep. You don’t actually need a very deep pot rather you can use a wide pot. You can use many small pots and grow one plant in each of them or you can select large window boxes, wooden boxes or crates.
You have to provide each spinach plant a space of three inches. If you want to pick the large leaves, you have to give more space to each plant, five inches. If you want to harvest the spinach leaves at a very young age, then the spacing can be reduced to about two inches only. You can easily divide the planter box into squares and see how many plants will feel comfortable in it.
Basic Requirements for Growing Spinach in Containers
- Position and location: If you want to grow the spinach plant in fall (autumn), you have to keep the plant in a sunny spot (in mild climates) because of shorter days and less intensity of the sun. For spring and summer planting you need to keep your potted spinach plants in a location where it can receive some shade, most especially in the afternoon. In subtropical or tropical climate the potted spinach plants can be place in a spot that receives plenty of shade.
- Soil requirement: To actually grow spinach plant in a container you need to use quality potting mix rich in organic matter. Also the texture of the soil must be crumbly and loamy. Make sure you avoid soil that clogs the drainage and remains waterlogged. A well-draining soil is the most key factor for the optimum growth of spinach plant in containers. Also the soil pH must be neutral.
- Plant watering: If you are growing spinach in a container avoid water stagnation because it can lead to the development of rot and other several fungal diseases. Also try and avoid wetting the foliage. Make sure you keep the soil moist but not soggy or wet. Ensuring good drainage in the pot is really very important.
- Temperature requirement: The spinach plant seeds can germinate in temperatures as low as 40 F (4 C) and also in high temperatures too. Actually one of the best soil temperatures for growing spinach is within the range of 50-80 F (10-27 C). A lot of spinach cultivars can actually tolerate temperature down to 20 F (-6) and up to 90 F (32 C) easily. Immediately the temperature starts to soar high you have to provide shade to the spinach plants.
How To Grow Spinach Indoors
Growing spinach plant indoors on a windowsill is really a good idea because it doesn’t really require a lot of sunlight. If you’re actually short of outdoor space you can buy a few six inches deep small pots and grow spinach in them.
Spinach Plant Care
To grow spinach plant in pots does not actually need special care. The key to great harvest are regular watering of the plant, fertilizing and the right soil.
- Fertilizing: To grow a healthy green spinach plant you have to provide nitrogen. During planting you can mix a time-based fertilizer, or you can put in a lot of compost or well-rotted manure, this will actually provide nutrients slowly to the spinach plant. Feeding the spinach plant with fish emulsion, compost or manure tea in the middle of the growth and so on is a good organic way to promote the spinach plants. You can also feed the spinach plant with balanced liquid fertilizer at regular intervals.
- Mulching: You can mulch the plants with organic matter, this will help in retaining moisture.
- Pests and Diseases Control: If you are growing spinach in containers you don’t need to worry much about pests, you can easily control them. Just make sure you keep an eye on leaf-eating insects like caterpillars and slugs and some other common garden pests such as aphids. Keeping an eye will help you in eliminating them in time.
Depending on the growing conditions and cultivar, under normal condition the spinach plant will be ready for harvest thirty-seven to fifty days after germination.
You can harvest the spinach plant when the plant has formed at least five to six healthy leaves, and they are at least three to four inches long. You can pick outer leaves first and then leave the new inner leaves so that they can continue to grow or you can cut the whole spinach plant off at the base with a scissor or knife, the spinach plant will re-sprout again.