If you are planning to grow a decent vegetable garden in your kitchen, spinach is a great vegetable to begin and practice your new skill. One of the thrills of gardening is to see a fully grown plant as quickly as you can. With spinach, you will be able to have this satisfaction much earlier as you will get the produce in just about 6-8 weeks period. So are you ready for some useful tips to grow spinach in your kitchen garden? Okay then, let’s begin.
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Where to grow your spinach
You can grow spinach in your terrace, balcony, window box or any other place in your home where there is normal sunlight. The partial shade that will offer a few hours of sunlight to the plant is good enough during warmer weather conditions. You don’t need large space for growing spinach as the plants are small in size and also the roots don’t go all that deep into the soil. A shallow container is fine for the plant.
Choosing the right variety
The main varieties of spinach are a plain leaf or smooth leaf, crinkled leaf and savoy spinach. Decide on the type you want to grow according to the climatic conditions of your region before starting the planting process.
The planting process
Grow spinach from seeds. It is best to sow seeds for germination during cooler weather conditions. Sow seeds about ½ inch deep in the soil. Keeping the soil moist, just enough to speed up the germination process is important. It takes about 10 to 14 days for the seeds to germinate.
As with most other vegetable plants, it is important to provide an adequate amount of water to the spinach plant. However, make sure that you don’t over-water the plant or else the soggy soil will damage the seeds and roots. It is important that you use soil that drains well.
Maintaining the pH
It is important to keep the soil slightly acidic. Maintain the pH of the soil between 6.5 and 7. To regulate the pH level, limestone powder can be added to the soil, ideally about 2-3 months before planting so that the soil can properly absorb it.
Fertilizing the plant
Putting some nitrogen based fertilizer or composted manure during the growing phase of the plant will facilitate the healthy and dense growth of leaves. Add organic matter in the form of manure, cottonseed meal, blood meal, etc. Removing weeds before adding fertilizer is important to offer the best nourishment to the spinach plants.
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Spinach grows fast and is ready to be consumed as soon as they are about 3-4 inches in length. You can either pinch them with fingers or use gardening shears to remove them from their base. You can also pull the entire plant from the soil as the roots are not as deep and firm. The first method is considered a better way of harvesting spinach plants as it allows the inner leaves of the plant to continue their growth to produce better, thicker and more mature spinach.