Spinach is one of the most consumed leafy vegetable by Americans. No wonder, as it is packed with lots of vitamins and essential minerals.
As a gardener, you must consider growing spinach in your vegetable garden. This cool-season crop can be grown hydroponically and in soil.
It is one of fast and easy growing vegetable plant. Who doesn’t like to enjoy the yield within weeks?
This can pop a question, how long does it take to grow spinach?
Depending on varieties, spinach need 37 to 45 days from planting seeds to harvest. In other words, you can get spinach yield in about 6 weeks after planting seeds. (1)
There are few tips that gardening experts recommend to fasten the spinach seed germination process.
Priming is one such prominent process to increase seed germination more reliable and faster. You can see seeds sprouting after 5 days. I will discuss this simple process later in this article.
How Long Does Spinach Take to Grow from Seed?
Not all seeds you planted will germinate.
Some may fail to sprout; your work as a good gardener is to increase the germination rate and at the same time fasten the growing process of spinach.
If you followed what most gardening experts recommend then it may take 6 weeks to harvest spinach. Like 40-45 days to grow from seed to harvest.
Ideal Temperature to Germinate Spinach Seeds
There are several factors that influence the growth duration of spinach plant.
Providing ideal temperature is one among them.
Spinach seeds fail to germinate if the soil temperature if above 70F.
Ideal temperature for seeds to germinate is 35F to 75F. (Source) Sprouting starts in 5 to 6 days. In rare cases, you can see the seed germination may take more than 20 days.
Also Read: White Spots on Spinach Leaves
Plant the seeds in soil when the temperature reaches at-least 40F. You may not get cent percent germination rate, but proving favorable temperature will increase the sprouting.
Tip: You can cover the soil surface with plastic sheet to speed up warming.
Spinach is a cool-weather crop its leaves start to bolt in hot summer days. So, plant in early spring or late fall to avoid hot days.
Humidity and Air Flow
Humidity isn’t an issue if you consistently provide moist soil for the plant to thrive.
In case, if the air is dry while during seed germination, use cloche to lock the moisture.
Like seedlings and plant, seed also need air circulation. Choose loose soil that provides enough space for air and moisture to germinate seeds.
Check this out: Will Spinach Grow Back After Cutting
Best Soil to Grow Spinach
Spinach doesn’t like to sit in soggy soil and it won’t thrive in a dry soil either.
You must opt for well-drained fertile soil that drains excess soil but retains necessary moisture.
Important: Soil must be loose enough so that the spinach roots can easily grow and if you’re growing spinach in garden soil, then you must dig up-to one foot to loosen the soil.
Many gardeners prefer growing vegetable plants in a raised bed. Though it may cost you, but your plants will love the well-drained much fertile soil and return you with a bounty of yield.
Check this: Are Eggshells Good for Tomato Plants?
When to Plant Spinach?
It’s a cool season crop, so you can start growing spinach in early spring or late fall.
Like any other plant, spinach takes some time to establish itself. So, to fasten the process you can start seed germination early indoors and transplant the seedlings.
However, it isn’t easy to transplant spinach seedlings. Few people skip this step and start growing directly in the soil.
If you can’t start early indoors but want to fasten the growth of your spinach, then you must opt for seed priming.
Below is the ideal way to start growing spinach at your home.
Ultimate Guide: Step-by-Step Process to Plant Spinach
Follow these steps to speed-up the spinach growth.
Step: 1 (Priming Seeds)
This process helps to regulate seed moisture and the temperature, which in turn brings the seed to germination point.
Thus, allowing the spinach seed to germinate more efficiently.
- Prior to sowing seeds, wash and soak them overnight for 24 hours.
- Second, place the soaked seeds on paper towel and allow them to dry for 2 days.
- When the seeds are completely dry, shift these seeds to air tight container.
- As the seeds have retained enough moisture, you’ll see sprouting within in 5 days.
Now, plant these seeds in a loose moist soil to start growing spinach.
How long do spinach seeds take to germinate?
After priming, your spinach seeds will germinate within 5 to 6 days. Make sure you don’t overwater or completely dry them.
Even temperature should be ideal to germinate seeds. As listed already, ideal temperature for spinach seed germination is 35F to 75F.
If in case your seeds aren’t germinating, then probably your seeds are old. As a gardener you must know that spinach seeds last not more than 2 years. Germination rate will be decreased by every passing year.
Opt for fresh spinach seeds, so that you can speed-up the spinach growth.
Step: 2 Planting Seeds and Soil
You can grow spinach in container, raised bed or in garden soil. All you’ve do is to tilt the soil.
Growing medium or potting soil is very important factor in growing any plant. Soil that fails to drain excess water won’t help you to grow spinach successfully.
Choose well-drained soil that includes compost and sand.
Raised beds are a good choice to grow vegetable plants like spinach.
If you’re living in apartment then you can consider growing in a container. Ensure the pot or container has a drainage hole and the potting soil has garden soil, perlite, sand and compost.
- Sow spinach seeds (after priming) ½ an inch deep and space 2 inches apart.
- For continuous harvest start sowing spinach seeds every week starting early spring.
- Crowded spinach won’t grow fast. So, if you’re growing spinach in a raised bed, then sow seeds 12 inches apart over row.
Step: 3 Sunlight and Water
After choosing best growing medium, you must ensure you provide a better location for the plant.
Spinach does well in full sun and partial sun.
Roughly, spinach plant needs 4 to 6 hours of bright sunlight. But, remember this leafy vegetable plant can’t tolerate hot summer days.
If the day is getting hotter in afternoon, you can use a shade cloth to protect the spinach leaves from bolting.
Water needs of spinach
Without adequate water you can’t expect the spinach to grow fast.
Overwatering is common problem faced by many new gardeners. Discolored leaves, stunted growth and a layer of algae on surface of the soil are signs of overwatering.
Check the soil 1 inch for dryness before watering. If the soil is sticky or moist, then restrain from watering.
Depending on climatic conditions in your region, set the watering frequency.
Also Read: How Much Water Do Carrots Need to Grow?
Why Should I Soak Spinach Seeds Before Planting?
It’s mandatory to soak seeds overnight. This is only to promote faster germination of spinach seeds.
When seeds are soaked for overnight in clean water, the moisture content is raised just below the level that is required for radicle emergency. (Source)
How to Germinate Spinach Seed Using Paper Towel?
To germinate seeds in a paper towel, damp the paper towel and place seeds. Wrap and keep in a warm place to fasten the germination process.
Too warm may delay the germination.
Moisture in paper towel allows seeds to breathe and it is one of the best alternative growing medium.
However, you must shift the sprouted spinach seeds to well-drained soil, because seeds need nutrients to grow into seedling.
When to Transplant Spinach Seedlings?
A rule of thumb is to transplant the seedling when it has 3 to 4 leaves.
A day before transplanting, shift the container off the shade and reduce watering. This is hardening the spinach seedling to get ready for sunshine outside.
Dig the hole and loosen the soil 1 foot deep from the hole. This is to ensure that the taproot of spinach can easily penetrate into deeper soil.
When to Harvest Spinach in Containers?
Start harvesting spinach when you see large leaves. Use a gardening tool to cut the young leaves, as they are more delicious than large.
Never pinch off more than 50 percent of leaves from the plant.
Regular harvesting actually helps the plant to produce more yield.
Don’t skip the harvesting it may impact the plant growth.
Do you think is it important to know soil condition, ideal temperature and watering frequency to grow spinach fast?
Yes, it is essential to provide favorable conditions to fasten the spinach growth rate.
For instance, when you fail to provide ideal temperature to seeds, the germination process can be delayed. Choosing wrong soil that doesn’t drain excess water can impact the growth of spinach negatively.
In a nut shell, it takes 6 weeks to grow spinach from seed to harvest. Which spinach variety did you choose to grow in your garden? I personally prefer smooth-leaf and savoy spinach.