Spinach is a leafy dark green vegetable that grows best in cooler conditions.
It is extremely easy to grow in GreenSmart self watering pots
High in vitamin K and A: Spinach is often recommended to aid the human body to naturally reduce cholesterol, improve eyesight and to help the body to fight health issues.
Spinach thrives in both sunny and partial shade conditions and likes well drained soil with plenty of organic matter. Sow seeds at a depth of 3 x the diameter. They normally appear in 12-15 days. Or simply transplant a punnet of plants – taking care to not damage the roots. You will be able to fit 8 plants into a small pot or 18 into a large pot.
The plants quickly go to seed in hotter conditions with longer days. March to May are the ideal months for planting but do protect plants from driving rain in winter. Most NZ areas get sufficient rain during the period March to October so the GreenSmart pot will catch plenty of rain and you won’t need to worry about adding water into the water sight glass. The self watering pots have a clever self watering mechanism that will take care of water requirements for you automatically. They are able to withstand frosts.
How will I know when to Harvest?
The plants will be ready to harvest 40-77 days after sowing seeds- when there are 6-8 leaves. Cut the whole plant or cut individual outer leaves about 2 cm above the ground. Continue until the seed stalk develops. You can lengthen the harvesting period by pinching out the seed head. Be sure to keep picking the younger leaves. The younger leaves are sweeter than old leaves.
Like all leafy plants, spinach loves plenty of nitrogen. There are plenty of options: Yates Dynamic Lifter, sheep manure pellets, comfrey tea, fish fertiliser (check out our previous blog on “Schnapper juice”), blood and bone. Remember also that peas fix nitrogen around their roots so peas are a great source of nitrogen for crop rotation. The rain will wash some of the fertiliser down into the water reservoir from where the self watering action of the wicking section will provide water to the plants by its capillary action.
Pests and Diseases
Be watchful for slugs and snails feasting on the younger plants. Try taping adhesive-backed copper tape around the lip of the pot. Slugs and snails get a small electric charge when the touch it so they don’t cross over the tape into the GreenSmart pot.
As spinach is grown in cooler months, it is also prone to fungal diseases so it is important to ensure that your spinach plants have got good air circulation.
They like the company of strawberries. May is also a great month for planting strawberries.
In summary spinach plants are one of the easiest, fastest growing and tastiest plants to grow in GreenSmart self watering pots .
Our next growing tips newsletter will be about how GreenSmart self watering pots can help you grow healthier, better-tasting strawberries … but with less work.