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Growing spinach from seed can be challenging in Zones 9 and 10 because of our warm fall and spring weather. After years and years of perfecting our spinach growing, we have some pro-tips on growing spinach for you to be successful and create a bounty of greens to enjoy.
When to Grow Spinach From Seed
Spinach plants enjoy cool temperatures, shorter days, and ample moisture. When spinach is exposed to high temperatures and longer daylight hours, it triggers the plant to form flowers and seed. Going to seed is a common issue with many leafy greens when they are grown in a time of the year in which the daylight hours are long. For this reason, spinach is best grown as a fall crop going into winter, or as an early spring crop.
When to Plant Spinach Seed in Zones 9 and 10
In Zones 9 and 10, our winters are mild enough that you can grow spinach from around October until May. The calm and mild winter temperatures are perfect for growing spinach. In higher elevation areas that may get frost, use row cover fabric to protect plants from a light frost.
When to Plant Spinach Seeds in Zones 5-8
In areas with harsh winter weather, you will be most successful squeezing in a spinach crop in the fall before frost arrives, and in early spring after the threat of frost is gone. Chose varieties that produce quickly and can be harvested many times as a cut-and-come-again crop.
Germinating Spinach Seeds
Spinach seed germinates best in cool soils. Frequent irrigation and row cover can keep the soil moist and cool in warm weather and encourage quick and even germination. In soil temperatures over 85° F, seed germination will be slow—cover spinach seeds with finely sifted soil for the best results.
Spinach will be happiest if you can keep it cool and moist. Mulching around your plants can help tremendously to regulate the soil temperature and retain moisture in your soil. When your plants grow leaves to the desired size, you can harvest your spinach by cutting the leaves one by one. Harvest heavily and often for the best results.
Succession Planting Spinach
When growing spinach from seed, you will want to succession plant every 10-14 days for a constant supply of spinach to enjoy. As older plants begin to putter out, you will already have baby plants growing to supply you with more green goodness.