Spinach is a source of iron, vitamins, protein, and fiber. To eat such a useful plant all year round, you can not only freeze it but also grow it in an apartment on the southern windowsills. Within a few weeks after planting, it will grow greens that can be cut and eaten.
Read more about caring and growing spinach indoors below.
In order for spinach to grow at home, it is necessary to provide favorable conditions for this – from lighting to humidity. Each parameter is important, so they should be considered separately.
Temperature regime growing spinach
Spinach plants do not require high temperatures for normal development. Seeds can germinate at a temperature of +4C, but in the future, the growth and development of the plant will require a temperature of +14…+18C. The ideal temperature is +15C because in such conditions the plant quickly gains power and grows to the optimal size. The leaves do not fade and do not wither.
It should be noted that the shrub can develop at a temperature of +7…+10C, but in this case, the growth of leaf plates will be somewhat slowed down. It is also impossible to allow air temperatures above +18C since in this case, the plant will shoot, so its leaves will become unsuitable for food. You can also keep the plant on a glazed loggia since it is easy to maintain an optimal temperature in such a room.
Air humidity spinach plants
Spinach is a moisture-loving crop, so it is important not only to make regular watering and spraying but also to maintain high humidity – about 50-60%. Otherwise, the plant will start to wither and will not be able to give a full harvest. So, in hot weather or during the heating season, it is recommended to regularly spray crops from a spray gun or place containers with water around the vases.
Lighting spinach plants
Spinach is a light-loving plant, so it should be grown on well-lit southern windowsills. In extreme cases, vases with the plant can be placed on the South-Eastern or South-Western windowsills.
At the same time, you should take additional measures depending on the time of year:
- in spring and summer, plants should be shaded to prevent severe overheating and burning of tender leaves;
- in autumn and winter, especially during cloudy or rainy weather, you should turn on fluorescent lamps in the room to ensure a full day of light.
It is worth noting that for the normal development of the shrub at any time of the year, light exposure is required for about 10 hours. For additional illumination, you can use daylight lamps, placing them at a distance of 25 inches from the spinach containers and turning them on in the evening for 2-3 hours or more. Excessive light exposure is also contraindicated for seedlings, as it can delay the onset of the flowering period.
Read more can you grow spinach indoors?
More info about potting soil.
Necessary inventory for grow spinach indoors
To grow spinach on the windowsill, it must be sown in some spacious container. For this purpose, you can use boxes or containers that are at least 7 inches deep. Seeds can be sown in flower pots, but their volume must not be less than 1 liter but no more than 2 L. in addition, when selecting containers is to assume several options:
- if they are on the windowsill;
- are there drain holes for water drainage;
- is it possible to prepare two-layer systems (at least 1 inches) and soil (about 6 inches);
- will it be possible to maintain the optimal interval for planting seeds (to calculate it, the container should be divided into equal squares and see how many seeds can be sown).
If the container meets the listed requirements, it means that it can be used for the stated purposes. In addition, it is worth considering whether the grown seedlings will be picked or not:
if the crop is cut without transplanting the plant, that is, without diving, you can use a shallow, long and wide pot or flower pot for sowing seeds, which must have holes for excess water to flow out;
if the grown spinach seedlings will be transplanted to another container, initially it is worth using small containers for sowing seeds, from which it will be convenient to dive seedlings in the future.
Soil selection and preparation of grow spinach
Spinach can be successfully grown only in loose and nutritious soil that has a slightly alkaline or neutral reaction. In this regard, the plant can not be planted in the ground with the addition of peat, since it increases the acidity of the soil, which negatively affects the development of the shrub. So, the plant can be planted in any store soil, with the exception of acidic. The soil mixture can be prepared independently.
Here are the most popular options for spinach substrates:
Combine 1 part of vermicompost and 2 parts of coconut fibers, which will retain moisture, preventing stagnation of water in the container. This mixture has a high nutritional value, moisture capacity, and lightness.
Mix every 100 CC of vermiculite with 1-2 tsp of perlite (vermiculite). This substrate can be prepared if the store for gardeners could not buy coconut fiber. Perlite or vermiculite will retain moisture and give the soil all the same properties as coconut fibers, however, it will not rot and will last even longer.
Connect 2 parts of garden potting soil, 1 part of humus (cow or deciduous), and sand.
Before sowing seeds, such a mixture should be scalded with boiling water or decontaminated with a solution, and then scattered on a baking sheet with a layer of up to 2 inches or 3 inches and sent to the oven for 30 minutes at a temperature of 100°C to conduct additional disinfection.
Any potting mix soil is recommended to be pre-pierced in the oven to disinfect it. Regardless of the type of substrate used, it is necessary to pour a drainage layer on the bottom of the container and then fill in the potting soil. The fact is that leafy greens spinach requires abundant watering, and a drainage layer 1 inch high will not allow stagnation of nutrient moisture.
Various materials can be used as drainage, including:
- crushed stone;
- expanded clay;
- brick chips;
- ordinary foam,
- divided into small pieces.
Seed preparation and planting of grow baby spinach indoors
To grow spinach seeds are quite large, and they germinate quickly and together, guaranteeing almost 100% germination. To achieve such results, they must be properly processed before sowing, following the following grow lights baby spinach instructions:
Wash the planting spinach
Wash the planting baby spinach a day before sowing, fill it with warm water, and leave it for 24 hours. This will speed up its germination, as well as ensure uniform germination of young sprouts.
In the morning, drain the water from the container. If earlier the seeds had a dense external structure, then after soaking they are slightly soaked and swell.
Soaking of potassium permanganate
2-3 hours before sowing, fill the seeds with a weak solution of potassium permanganate or potassium permanganate to disinfect them from diseases. The duration of soaking is 30 minutes.
Dry the seedlings
Lightly dry the seedlings and use them for planting.
Planting spinach seeds
Entire plant spinach can be sown on seedlings or immediately on a permanent place of growth. In any case, before planting, the soil should be slightly moistened and grooves should be prepared, the depth of which is from 0.5 to 0.8 inches. The optimal distance between them is 1 inch. In the prepared pits, throw baby spinach seeds, and then cover them with potting soil.
Cover the container with film or glass before sprouting. As a rule, seedlings of baby spinach are hatched for 5-7 days. They were at baby spinach size in a few short weeks.
Spinach indoors planting care
Containers with plant spinach should be placed on the Southside, and the room should be provided with proper lighting, temperature, and humidity. After that, the plant must be properly cared for in order to achieve a quick pecking of the first shoots. What is care, we will understand further. Soil use a loamy soil rich in organic matter.
Spinach indoors irrigation
Immediately after planting, slightly moisten the planted crops. In the future, they should be frequently and abundantly watered. As mentioned above, spinach is a moisture-loving plant and does not tolerate drying out of the potting soil. In addition to regular watering, the greens should be sprayed with water at room temperature from a spray bottle. Thus, the leafy greens plant will be sated, and the humidity around it will increase so that it will be possible to prevent the premature development of shooting.
The fact is that with a reduced level of humidity, the plant very quickly begins to throw out flower stalks, so the greens will become coarse and unsuitable for food. In cold seasons, you can not install heating devices close to the plant, however, if the room temperature is low so that the earth does not soften due to heavy watering, it is enough to only irrigate the leaves from a spray gun.
Plant spinach indoors harvest
3-4 weeks after sowing, the first greenery will appear on the shrub. Mass harvesting can be carried out when the spinach grows to 4 inches and forms 5-6 large dense leaves.
It should be noted that the first time the plant will develop very slowly, but after 20-25 days from the moment of emergence, there will be a rapid growth of rosettes. So, depending on the type of spinach, leaf-cutting can begin in 25-40 days. The foliage must be cut with scissors or gently break the leg. Pull and pull out the plates can not be, because this can cause damage to the entire root system. You can collect all the leaves at a time, leaving only very young leaves, but experienced farmers advise you to collect the plant as needed, because the leaves have a short shelf life – they wither during the day. The harvest itself should be carried out in the morning or evening. During the growing season, leaves can be collected from one shrub 4-5 times, and cutting can be carried out every 7-10 days. When the leafy greens plant forms a flower arrow, you need to remove it and, if desired, conduct new sowing.
Spinach is an annual plant, so its vegetation does not require much time. After the appearance of the first greenery suitable for cutting, the Bush will actively increase the leaf plates for another 2 months, and after a few prunings it will begin to produce a flower stalk, so its outer leaves will become unusable.
So, in order to continuously get fresh spinach, it is necessary to sow new batches of plants every 2 months, and the old sockets must be uprooted. You can start to grow spinach at home at any time of the year. To do this, the seeds of the plant should be sown in small low vases, using nutritious soils for their rapid germination. Of course, to get a good harvest, you will also need to provide proper care for the seedlings.