Here's what's ahead:
The most important information at a glance:
Germination temperature: 6–20 °C
Germination time: 7–14 Tage
Pre-sowing indoors: February - April
Relocate outdoors: from April
Direct sowing outdoors: March – April & September – October
Location: sunny to partially shaded
Root depth: 30 cm
Row spacing: 20 cm
Distance between plants: 10 cm
Seed depth: 3 cm
Perfect as a pre-culture or following crop
Have you always wondered how you can keep your empty plant beds and pots green after the summer harvest in Autumn? The answer is as simple as it is delicious: spinach!
Spinach is pleasing to the eye – and to the tongue – with lush green leaves, and when planted in Autumn, it continues to wow us well into Winter. You can also sow and harvest it as a pre-culture in early Spring before main crops such as zucchini or carrots are added to the bed or pot in May.
Just avoid sowing in Summer, as the spinach will form shoots too quickly.
From February to April.
It is more common to sow spinach directly from March onwards, but you can also grow it indoors earlier.
Fill pots or trays with potting soil.
Poke 3 cm deep holes in the soil with your fingers. They should be about 10 cm apart.
Take your seed paper from your calendar and tear it into small pieces.
Spread the seeds in the holes and cover them with soil.
Place your pots on a bright window sill and keep the soil moist until germination.
Direct sowing outdoors:
From March to April and September to October.
Loosen the soil in and add some compost to it.
It is up to you whether you sow the spinach in rows (distance approx. 20 cm) or – if you are feeling a bit "wild" – between other crops.
To achieve the proper sowing depth (3 cm), you can make grooves, poke holes with your finger or push some soil aside, which you push back after the seeds are in.
Tear up the seed paper into smaller pieces and spread them in the grooves or holes.
Keep everything nice and moist, and the first spinach seedlings will appear before long.
When your pre-sown seedlings form the first pair of leaves, it is time to prick them out.
Take a pricking stick or spoon handle and carefully lift the seedlings out of their pots.
From April you can transplant them directly into your outdoor bed or into a larger pot.
Make sure to keep the plant distance of 10 cm.
If you have sown the seeds too densely, you will have to thin out the plants a little, when they start crowding each other out. You can then use the bits you have thinned out as "baby spinach" in a salad.
Sunny to partially-shady
Soil: loose and deep, also satisfied with less nutrient-rich soils, for example as a following crop to other heavy- or medium-eaters.
However, the location should not be too barren or dry – this will ensure that the spinach can grow quickly and healthily.
Good neighbours: strawberry, potato, cabbage, lettuce, parsnip, radish, celery, tomato, zucchini
Bad neighbours: Swiss chard, beetroot
Water regularly in pots and outdoors – this reduces nitrate accumulation
Fertilise with compost before sowing
Spinach is sensitive to too much nitrogen, so be careful with liquid fertilisers and organic fertilisers that contain a lot of nitrogen (e.g. animal manure)
Protect against frost in the Spring and Autumn by covering younger plants
Keep the bed free of weeds
In the case of severe frost, harvest or move to a cool, light spaces
Observe a break from cultivation of at least 4 years
Diseases and pests
Aphids: Spray with a mixture of soap and water
In the long term, however, it is wise to encourage the beneficial insects in your garden.
You don't have to be afraid of powdery mildew with your “Butterflay”, because the variety is mildew-tolerant.
Leave miner: Protect your plants with close-knit culture protection nets that you place over the cultures starting in May.
Snails: Coffee can help repel snails from your spinach plants. Just put a circle of coffee grounds around the plant to keep them away and preferably, water in the morning (snails love moisture in the evening).
After about two months you can harvest the young, tender leaves of your spinach for salads.
You can use larger, firmer leaves without stems for cooking.
After flowering, the leaves become bitter and can no longer be used.
The deep roots remain in the soil and loosen it up for subsequent crops. They also contain saponins, organic chemicals that help other plants absorb nutrients better.
If you only cut the outer leaves and let the heart stand, the spinach will grow back from the inside. You can then harvest it several times.
It's best to harvest when needed - spinach doesn't last very long in the refrigerator.
If you have a large harvest, you can also freeze the leaves and – after thawing and washing them first – use them for some tasty dishes.
In recent years, Spinach has totally flipped its formerly bad reputation as a healthy-but-tasteless vegetable that children avoid. Thanks to some bold culinary innovators using it on pizza and in vegetable lasagna, there is no shortage of inspiration for how you can use this incredible vegetable.
Spinach salad: Sprinkle a bowl of spinach with some olive oil, red wine vinegar, and clumps of goat cheese, and you've got a delicious and nutrient-rich salad.
Spinach with mushrooms: Cook spinach in a pan with fresh porcini mushrooms. Season with salt, pepper, a little lemon juice, and chives, deglaze with white wine or water if necessary, and add fresh farmer's bread.
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