My first exposure to Spinach was when I used to watch the cartoon character Popeye. Popeye–the sailor man would eat a whole can of Spinach and develop superhuman abilities! I can’t count how much Spinach I happily ate as a child, hoping I, too, would develop superhuman strength. That didn’t work out.
My love for Spinach has followed me into adulthood, leading me to plant it in my garden. I have also learned that for spinach plants to do well, it needs to be given enough space to thrive. So, how much space is enough for Spinach? Let’s find out.
How Far Apart to Space Spinach Plants
Did you know that Spinach is one of the fastest-growing vegetable crops? Spinach matures fully 35 to 55 days following seed germination. Spinach plants only have a little time to become huge since they mature quickly; the tallest they may grow before bolting is only around 16 inches. This is unlike what I’ve seen when growing peppers and tomatoes (Peppers can grow up to three feet).
You may sow spinach seeds very close together because they are compact. But before you plant your Spinach close together, you need to know the seed variety you are cultivating and check the plant spacing instructions on the seed packaging.
You can use the information from the instructions to get a broad idea of spinach plant spacing. Plants for Spinach can be placed closer together if your soil is fertile and rich, and plants should be placed farther apart if your soil is less than ideal so that each one has access to more water and nutrients. Plants should be spaced equally between rows as suggested for in-row spacing while harvesting baby spinach.
Plant spinach seeds at a depth of approximately 12 inches in fertile, well-prepared soil and compact the soil firmly over the seeds. 12 to 18 inches should separate rows.
Seeds should be sown in rows 2 to 6 inches apart. Depending on your soil, the conditions for growth, and whether you intend to harvest baby spinach leaves or wait until the plants are full size, thin the seedlings to a spacing of 6 to 12 inches between plants once they have emerged.
Growing and Spacing Spinach in a Square-foot Garden
Square foot gardening is one of the easier ways to plant your Spinach. One way to use a square foot spacing for each plant is in a square foot garden. Let us assume that your garden is 4 feet by 4 feet. You would have 16 square feet or 16 little square spaces to grow your plants.
Garden spaces are 12 inches by 12 inches in each square foot. You may fit nine spinach plants in each square foot if you follow the plant spacing recommendations, which means that you are separating each plant by around 4 inches in diameter.
You can aid yourself by drawing two evenly spaced horizontal and vertical lines to help you get the proper amount of spinach plants per square foot. You’ll have nine little squares to sow the spinach seeds in; each should be positioned in the center of one of these little squares.
If you can design these grid lines, this method is one of the simplest and easiest. Remember that you need to be able to plant, care for, and harvest your spinach plants, so if you can only access them from opposing sides, you can only have a maximum of 4 square feet. I also use square-foot gardening when growing and spacing my Basil plants.
Growing and Spacing Spinach in Containers
A fantastic approach to planting Spinach is in a container. By following a few straightforward guidelines, you can easily determine the container spacing. Remember that these are only suggestions based on my experiences. You can use these suggestions as a general framework for container gardening since it can vary depending on your needs.
How many spinach plants you can fit in your container depends on the size. Each spinach plant needs to be planted with a spacing of roughly 3-5 inches.
If you want to grow baby spinach greens and harvest them sooner, the bottom 3-inch area is great. The recommended distance between spinach plants is 5 inches if you grow them as baby greens.
Suppose you have a cylindrical container with a diameter of about 14 inches. You can plant 9 to 11 spinach plants if you allow for around 4 inches for each plant. Given that your container could be oval, round, square, or rectangular, this is only a preliminary estimate.
Depending on the size and shape of your container, use your best judgment to space them at a distance of around 4-5 inches. You might also put different plants in your container to make it more attractive. This is called companion planting. For example, a vegetable such as a tomato has over 20 companion plants. When choosing the space between your spinach plants, companion planting could be a consideration.
Try it out and observe how your spinach plants do in your diverse plantings. Container gardening is a great way to teach yourself the ideal vegetable spacing requirements.
Spinach Growing Tips
Below are some important tips that you should know when growing your Spinach.
- Tip 1
Spinach does well in both full sun and some shade. Also, Spinach prefers fertile, moist soil with neutral to alkaline pH. (pH 7.0 or above). Before planting, I advise modifying the soil by adding 2-4 inches of compost.
Radishes, strawberries, and garlic are excellent companion plants for growing Spinach. To deter pests and illnesses, alternate the locations where you plant Spinach, waiting three years between each planting.
- Tip 2
If you plant Spinach at the correct time, Spinach may be grown in virtually any climate. The ideal growing temperature range for Spinach is 25°F to 75°F. Plant spinach as soon as the soil can be cultivated if you live in locations with cold winters. Spinach requires around six weeks of cool weather from seed to harvest, which may take a little frost.
- Tip 3
Keep an eye on plants, and harvest when leaves reach the desired size. If you are going for baby green sizes, you need to harvest your Spinach earlier. Please don’t wait too long to harvest larger leaves since they can become bitter. Harvest the outer leaves, saving the interior leaves for later harvests, or cut the plant off at the base to harvest at once.