Spinach for Fall Planting

Right now in late August is a great time to plant some of the greens that hate hot weather, so you have fresh greens for the fall and early winter. Lettuce and spinach are best planted in early spring or late summer, since neither does its best in hot weather. Both will bolt in summer’s heat, leaving you with a great addition to the compost pile, but little for your salads!

Spinach is one of those that does very well with fall planting. If your soil temperature is still quite warm (over 70F degrees), shade the area you want to plant so the soil cools. Sow your spinach seeds in a moist seed bed, about 2 inches apart in all directions. Keep the soil moist but not wet until the first sprouts appear. If the weather becomes hot again, shade your new plants, and keep them watered. Allowing the soil to dry out will cause spinach to bolt.

As the leaves reach 3 inches in length, you can harvest some leaves from each plant, and the plants will continue growing and producing even through a mild frost. One variety to consider planting is Winter Giant spinach. It has large smooth, semi-savoyed leaves.  This spinach is very cold hardy variety, making it great for later fall sowing.

Spinach will last for over a week in the fridge in a ziploc bag with a damp paper towel.

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