Spinach is a favorite garden crop that is easy to grow and can be used in salads or as an ingredient in a cooked meal. Is spinach a suitable food crop to grow in a container, and what is the best method to cultivate spinach in this way?
Spinach can be grown in a container and thrives in this growing environment if it is provided with a nitrogen-rich growing medium. A container 6 to 8-inches deep is ideal for growing spinach. Small varieties can be planted 3-inches apart, but larger varieties should be planted 8 to 12-inches apart.
Spinach is a leafy green food crop that is very nutritious and easy to grow. Container growing is a popular method for this plant because the plant grows well in containers. This method also provides several benefits that can give you a stronger, fuller harvest from the plants.
Can Spinach Be Grown In A Container?
Spinach can be grown in containers quite easily, and it is one of the crops recommended for beginner gardeners. Spinach is not very demanding regarding its growing environment, but there are some methods and techniques to get the best out of your container-grown spinach.
Spinach is a healthy, nutritious leafy vegetable, rich in a wide range of vitamins, including vitamins A, B, C, E, and particularly vitamin K. Spinach is also rich in potassium and is a source of dietary fiber. These benefits and the fact that the plant is easy to grow, make it a popular choice for all gardeners, particularly container gardeners.
Growing spinach in containers offers several benefits for the gardener and the plant.
- Protection from pests. Birds and bugs love to raid your spinach and feast on the green leaves. Growing in containers makes it easier to protect your spinach from birds since the plants are easier to net. Elevating the spinach in a container protects the plant from crawling insects that attack from ground level.
- Harvesting is easier. Locate the container at a convenient height to make it easy to harvest spinach when you need it. The container can even be located indoors.
- Easier to control watering and feeding. Spinach in containers is easier to water and feed since they can be close to your home or inside your home, making maintenance easier.
- Easier to monitor for disease. If the container is located where you see it every day, it is easier to monitor your spinach crop to detect disease or nutrition problems before the crop is lost.
- Move the container to the best growing location. The container can be moved to cater to condition changes and to provide the best growing environment for the spinach to maximize the yield.
Choose The Right Variety Of Spinach For Container Growing
There are a wide variety of spinach types that range in size and growing requirements. This variety offers versatility for growing spinach, but you must make sure you choose the right spinach variety for your container.
Some spinach types have large leaves, requiring a larger distance between plants and a larger container, while other varieties have smaller leaves and are an overall smaller plant. The smaller varieties require less space separation and can be grown in smaller containers.
What Container Is Good For Growing Spinach?
The type of container for growing spinach is any suitable container that promotes a well-drained growing medium. Spinach plants do well in clay pots, plastic containers, buckets, window boxes, and raised beds.
The width of the container you choose for growing spinach must be suitable to the spinach variety you are growing. Large leaf spinach varieties will require more space than small leaf versions and will require a wider spacing between plants. Small diameter or width containers will limit the number of large leaf spinach that can be planted.
Spinach plants do not have a deep root system and will survive quite happily in a container 6 to 8-inches deep.
What Soil Is Best For Growing Spinach In Containers?
Spinach grows best in moist, well-drained soil rich in nitrogen and a pH range of between 6.5 and 7. Spinach does not like to have soggy roots, and the plants will quickly begin to wilt if the roots become waterlogged.
The best soil for growing spinach in containers is a premium potting mix that includes perlite or peat moss for drainage. Alternatively, you can mix your own growing medium using 1 part topsoil, 1 part well-aged compost, and 1 part peat moss.
When To Grow Spinach In Containers
Spinach are cool weather plants that prefer a mild climate that is not too hot and not too cold. Spinach seeds will germinate best if the soil temperature is between 45°F and 68°F or 7°C and 20°C.
The best temperatures for growing spinach is when the daytime temperatures range between 60°F and 75°F or 16°C and 24°C.
Spinach will die off quickly if exposed to frost and will wilt if the temperatures rise much above 75°F or 24°C.
Sowing spinach at the end of winter indoors will give you a good crop of spinach in the spring before the summer temperatures get too hot.
Planting at the end of summer will allow the spinach plants to yield a crop through autumn and early winter before the temperatures get too cold.
The beauty about growing spinach in containers is that you can extend their growing season by bringing your plants indoors at night when the outside temperatures get too cold.
Where Should You Situate Your Spinach Growing Container?
The best place to grow spinach in a container is where the plant receives full sun. While this is the optimal placement, the spinach will tolerate partial shade as long as it gets some direct sunlight during the course of the day.
The large leaves on spinach plants require light to photosynthesize properly and allow the plants to grow correctly. If your spinach is in solid shade for most of the day, you should relocate it to a sunnier position.
How To Grow Spinach In A Container
Spinach can be grown from seedlings bought from a local garden center or grown directly from seed. Depending on the ambient temperature, the seeds will take between 5 and 14 days to germinate.
Fill the containers with an appropriate potting mix or a well-drained growing medium that you mix yourself. Plant the seeds ½ inch or 3mm deep and cover lightly with the growing mix. Don’t press the growing mixture down over the seeds, as it will compact the soil and make it difficult for the seedlings to emerge.
Small varieties of spinach can be planted 3-inches or 7.7cm apart. Larger varieties will need between 8 and 12 inches or 20 to 30cm between each plant.
Spinach takes up to 45 days for the leaves to fully mature, but you can harvest baby spinach leaves if the plant has more than 5 or 6 leaves. Remember to only harvest one-third of the leaves on a single plant to ensure the plant continues to grow and produce more leaves. Plant multiple plants in a container to increase the amount you can harvest.
Feed the spinach monthly with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer or compost to keep the plant producing strong, healthy leaf growth.
Spinach is easy to grow and flourishes when planted in containers. Ensure the spinach is planted in well-drained soil and receives regular high-nitrogen compost to promote leafy growth.
Spinach in containers makes a good indoor plant if kept in a room with access to direct sunlight or if you provide the light in the form of grow lights.