Growing Spinach in Pots / Containers / Indoors / Backyards
The following information is about growing spinach in pots / containers/Indoors /Backyards of your home.
Introduction To Spinach
Growing nutrient-rich leafy vegetable spinach in containers is very easy. Spinach is a fastest growing crop. Spinach is a highly energetic food rich in vitamins A and C, folic acid. Spinach in containers can grow in shade and partial sunlight. You can start growing spinach in either spring or fall or in both the seasons.
Spinach is a member of the: Amaranthaceae family.
Scientific name is: Spinacia Oleracea.
Spinach in Indian Languages:
- Hindi: Palak/Poi.
- Tamil: PasalaiKeerai/Keerai
- Telugu: Palakura.
- Kannada: Paalak/KempuBaayiBasalae.
- Malayalam: Palak Cheera.
- Punjabi: Poi/Palak.
- Marathi: Sag/Velbondi.
- Gujarati: Palak.
- Oriya: Poi/Palak.
- Bengali: Palag/puin/ PuiShaakh.
Steps to Growing spinach in Pots / Containers / Indoors / Backyards
Best time or planting season to grow spinach in Pots / Containers / Indoors / Backyards
Spinach is a cool season crop, so it can be grown in November to February. In Summer (April to October) you can grow the shade or indoor where you get partial sunlight.
Varieties for Growing spinach in Pots / Containers / Indoors / Backyards
Spinach seeds are available in the market, so get good quality of seeds. Spinach varieties differ in leaf type, growth rates, and bolting time. One variety of spinach has dark green crinkly leaves. This variety is best to grow in the fall. Another variety of spinach has smooth light green leaves. This variety grows very fast.
For growing spinach in containers Baby’s leaf hybrid and Melody varieties of spinach are recommended.
Choosing the Pots/ Containers for Growing spinach in Pots / Containers / Indoors / Backyards
For growing spinach in containers, choose the containers about 6 to 8 inches. For growing spinach, you don’t need deep containers, use a wide opened pot. You can also use small pots and grown one or two plants. You can use wide opened window boxes or wooden boxes or large plastic trays.
Soil for growing spinach in Pots / Containers / Indoors / Backyards
- Use high quality potting mix rich organic matter like soybean meal, cottonseed meal or nitrogen fertilizer.
- Soil you choose should be slightly acidic and pH level should be 6 to 7.
- To balance pH levels, you can add limestone to the soil.
- Soil you use should be well drained and must be crumbly and loamy.
Temperature to Spinach- Growing Spinach in Pots / Containers / Indoors / Backyards
- Spinach is a cool weather crop, seeds germinates well in when temperature between 15 to 18°C.
- Ideal temperature for growing spinach is 10 to 27 °C.
- Spinach seeds don’t germinate well when the temperature is more than 30°C.
- If the temperature is very high you can provide shade for your plants.
Growing spinach in Pots / Containers / Indoors / Backyards from seeds
- Fill the container with potting mix, make ½ inch holes and sow the seeds. Seedling starts germinating in 1 week to 15 days depending on the variety of seeds you choose and growing conditions.
- It is a good idea to soak spinach seeds in a small cup overnight before sowing them. Soaked seeds germinate faster. Before sowing remove the excess water from cup and place the seeds in tissue paper or cloth for 5 to 10 minutes. And then sow them in the soil.
- After sowing cover the seeds with soil lightly. Make sure that the seeds are not exposed to the air and are covered with soil properly.
- While planting the seedling, plant them carefully without spoiling the roots. And cover with soil carefully. And water the plant.
- Now cover the planting area with grass mulch, hay, straw or leaf to prevent weeds from sprouting. Mulch is the best method to control the weeds.
- Use water cans to water the plants. Don’t water forcibly, it may spoil newly planted seeds or even wash them away.
- Keep the container in partial sunlight till they germinate. Once they germinate, keep the containers in sunlight for 2 to 3 hours.
- In summers you can use cold frames or covers to keep soil moist and cool.
- In high temperature regions or in summer season, growing spinach from seeds is not a good idea. Seeds don’t germinate properly in high temperature.
Growing Spinach in Pots / Containers / Indoors / Backyards Transplantation
- Even you can purchase the seedlings from the nursery or garden center and transplant it to your container.
- Another procedure to grow spinach from seeds is, sow the seeds in seed trays. Wait till the 2 to 3 leaves appear on each plant. Then transplant them to the containers.
- If you are planting in a wide container, each plant should have minimum 3 inches space.
- Make a 2 inch deep hole in containers and plant the seedling carefully without damaging the roots and water as required. Make sure that all roots covered properly without exposing roots to sunlight.
- Water the spinach seedling carefully without drenching with spray water can.
- Once the seedling gets firm and stand strongly, place the containers in sunlight for 4 to 5 hours.
- Growing spinach from seedling is bit hard work. As the spinach seedling has very delicate root that can damage during transplantation.
Caring Tips for Growing spinach in Pots / Containers / Indoors / Backyards
- You should always keep the soil moist, Depending on the climatic conditions, water the plants once or twice per week.
- In hot weathers cover the soils with cloths or covers to keep soil and plants cool. High temperature can harm the spinach plant.
Fertilizers for Growing spinach in Pots / Containers / Indoors / Backyards
- Adding nitrogen-based fertilizer to soil may increase the growth of the plants.
- Soil used should be rich in organic matter and mixed with well-rotten manure, soybean meal, cotton seed meal etc.
- Feed the spinach plants with liquid fertilizers like fish emulsion or compost tea for a healthy leaf.
Pests and Diseases in Growing spinach in Pots / Containers / Indoors / Backyards
- Some common pests that attach spinach are leaf miners, mildew, mosaic virus/blight, fusarium wilt and aphids.
- Tan patches on spinach leaf are caused leafminer.
- Yellow spots on leaves are caused by downy mildew.
- Aphids can be removed by watering the plants regularly.
- You can use liquid organic fertilizer or pest oil to prevent insects.
- Good air circulation for plant can reduce the pest or disease problems in spinach plants.
- Using neem oil also reduces the effect of insects and fungal diseases.
Winter Care for Growing spinach in Pots / Containers / Indoors / Backyards
- To protect the spinach from low temperatures, cover the plants with cover with holes or cover the container with simple PVC frame with some hole for ventilation.
- In winter don’t water the plants regularly, check the moisture levels in soil and water the plant. Don’t add fertilizer to spinach plant winter.
- Once the temperature rises at day time add some water-soluble fertilizers.
Summer Care for growing spinach in Pots / Containers / Indoors / Backyards
- You should choose to heat tolerant spinach varieties to grow in summer. Those varieties can tolerate heat and humidity.
- In hot summer, spinach plants should be in complete shade or indoors.
- You should provide enough water to keep soil temperature cool and moist.
Harvesting Spinach grown in Pots / Containers / Indoors / Backyards
- Spinach Plants take 5 to 8 weeks to get ready for harvest. When the leaves grow up to 2 to 4 inches, then they are ready to harvest.
- Spinach plant can produce tasty leaves for only 5 weeks.
- You should be very careful while harvesting spinach. You pinch the petiole with nails softly or can use garden shears to cut the petiole.
- Even you can pull of the plant completely out of the ground.
- Storing spinach more than one day is not recommended. It may lose its nutrients and taste when stored for more one day.
- While harvesting pluck only bigger leaves, so that smaller leaves will start growing fast and new will start growing.
- Harvest leaves before they bolt, if the plants bolt leaves turn bitter in taste.
The final words of growing spinach
It is one of the wonderful leafy vegetables can be grown very easily at home in pots, containers, grow bags on terrace, backyards, kitchen and even in balconies.