Grow a bountiful garden of spinach by following these 8+ tips

Spinach is a cool-weather vegetable that grows well when temperatures stay below 75°F, which means spring and fall are typically prime growing times. Mature plants can actually survive temperatures as low as 20°F, but the rising temperatures of late spring will shorten its life.
Spinach is a fast-growing and high-yielding plant, ready to pick in about forty days. For a continuous harvest, many gardeners sow seeds every two to three weeks in the mild spring and fall weather.
While it does prefer full sun, spinach will still provide a bountiful harvest in partial shade. Here are 8 tips for growing it:
1. Decide which type of spinach you will grow
When you buy your seeds, keep in mind that there are two basic types of spinach. The smooth-leaf varieties are sweet and tender and work well in salads, while the crinkle-leaf types have thicker leaves that are better for cooking.
2. Prepare your bed
Work compost or composted manure into the soil to a depth of about 4 inches. Break up any clumps of soil and remove all debris. Add blood meal at a rate of 3 cups per 50 square feet. It's rich in nitrogen, which helps to promote growth.
3. Plant the seeds
Sow the seeds ¼" deep and 1 inch apart, and space rows 1 to 3 feet apart.
The optimum temperature for germination is 70°F, but it will germinate to temperatures as low as 35°F. However, it cannot germinate in soil temperatures greater than 85°F.
4. Thin the seedlings
As plants begin to emerge, thin them so that none are closer than six inches. Use your garden shears to cut the tops of the plants. Pulling them could disrupt the roots of nearby seedlings.
5. Keep them moist
Spinach needs at least an inch of water each week. It's better to water in the morning so the foliage has a chance to dry out before dark. Consistent moisture promotes rapid growth and can prevent bolting (going to seed). In warmer regions, mulch around the plants to help retain moisture.
6. Protect your plants
Floating row covers protect your plants from insects, and shields them from the harsh summer sun. Secure the edges of the netting with bricks or cement blocks to keep them in place.
7. Feed them
Spinach likes to eat. Feed your spinach compost or manure teas, made by steeping these ingredients to create a liquid fertilizer. Another recommendation is to mix 1 tablespoon of fish emulsion with 2 tablespoons of kelp extract in a gallon of water and feed the plants weekly with one cup per each foot in the row.
8. Harvest them
You can harvest spinach when you see 6 to 8 good-sized leaves, which will be around six weeks after you plant it. Pinch off the leaves you want, or cut the entire head with your gardening shears. You can keep harvesting until the plants go to seed.

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