Learning how to grow spinach seeds in a pot is easy.
This article will guide you through the step-by-step process of growing your own spinach in a pot.
Also, you will learn about the uses and health benefits of spinach.
In addition, you will learn how to harvest and store your spinach leaves so that they last long for use.
You will learn about the diseases that affect spinach as well as how to prevent or manage them.
So, if you want to get full details of how to grow spinach in a pot, then continue reading to get the full process.
Overview of the Spinach Plant
Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is an herbaceous plant whose leaves, green and arranged in a rosette, are eaten raw or cooked.
The leaves have an oval shape and are wrinkled; they can be whole or sawed.
It’s a very nutritious, tasteful, and easy-to-digest plant.
It is a leafy green vegetable that originated in Persia (today’s Iran) from which it was taken to China in the 7th century, brought to Europe in the 12th century, and then to the United States of America in 1806.
It is from the family Amaranthaceae.
The texture when cooked is not firm or hard but tends to be much softer and easier to chew.
The color of spinach is attributable to the presence of various pigments, which primarily are the green, chlorophylls, and the orange, red and yellow carotenoids.
Uses Of Spinach
- Spinach leaves are used for food.
- The leaves are also used to treat stomach and intestinal (gastrointestinal) issues.
- It is used in skincare products because of its ability to enhance the skin’s radiance.
- It is also able to heal scars or sun damage and fortify the natural barrier of the skin.
- People eat spinach as a blood-builder and an appetite stimulant.
Health Benefits Of Spinach
1. Spinach contains iron that helps in oxygen transportation.
Spinach is a nutritious and plant-based source of iron, a mineral that is crucial in transporting oxygen to the blood.
Iron is also important for maintaining healthy pregnancies, supporting the immune system, and aiding digestive processes.
2. It also contains magnesium which is necessary for maintaining blood pressure.
One cup of spinach contains about 24 mg of magnesium.
Magnesium is necessary for energy metabolism, maintaining muscle and nerve function, and regular heart rhythm.
Also, it is necessary for a healthy immune system and for maintaining blood pressure.
3. Spinach contains different plant compounds that play many important roles in the body.
Spinach contains many important plant compounds, including Lutein, kaempferol, nitrates, zeaxanthin, and quercetin.
These plant compounds play very important roles in the body, from maintaining eye health to reducing inflammation.
4. It also helps in the management of diabetes.
Spinach contains an antioxidant known as alpha-lipoic acid, which studies have shown lowers glucose levels and increases insulin sensitivity.
Also, it prevents oxidative, stress-induced changes in patients with diabetes.
5. Spinach can help to prevent cancer.
Spinach and other green vegetables contain chlorophyll. a pigment that gives plants their green color.
Research suggests that chlorophyll may contain anticancer properties and people who eat diets rich in green vegetables may have lower chances of developing cancer.
6. You develop healthy skin and hair when you eat spinach.
Spinach contains large amounts of vitamin A, which reduces oil production in the skin pores and hair follicles to moisturize the skin and hair.
A buildup of this oil in the pores may lead to acne.
Vitamin A is also necessary for the growth of all body tissues, including the skin and hair.
Leafy greens like spinach are crucial for building and maintaining collagen, which provides structure to skin and hair.
7. Spinach helps to improve bone health.
Scientists have found a link between low intakes of vitamin K and a higher risk of bone fracture.
Adequate vitamin K consumption is important for good health.
It acts as a modifier of bone matrix proteins and improves calcium absorption.
It may also reduce the amount of calcium that leaves the body in urine.
8. Consuming spinach can help to promote digestive regularity.
Spinach is high in fiber and water, both of which help prevent constipation and promote a healthy digestive tract.
9. Spinach contains high potassium that helps to lower blood pressure.
Due to its high potassium content, spinach may help reduce or manage high blood pressure.
Potassium can help reduce the effects of sodium in the body.
In addition, a low potassium intake might be as potent a risk factor for developing high blood pressure.
10. It also helps in asthma management.
Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may help reduce the severity of asthma symptoms and lessen the risk of the attacks.
Antioxidants like vitamin C and beta carotene may assist lung function and spinach contains the three.
Best Varieties To Grow For Beginners
There are two main types of spinach: Savoy and smooth-leafed.
1. Savoy spinach and semi-savoyed spinach
Savoy spinach and semi-savoyed spinach have dark green leaves characterized by their wavy or puckered leaves.
Also, they include some of the best varieties for growing in cold weather.
Yet, some savoy spinach varieties can adapt to the heat, offering the best of both worlds.
2. Smooth-leafed spinach
Smooth-leaf spinach, also called flat-leaf spinach, is the kind you often see in salads.
You can harvest the baby greens for sweeter, more tender leaves, or you can allow them to grow.
Other varieties are also included.
Auroch is a fast-growing spinach variety that has smooth leaves and performs best in fall, winter, and early spring, with high resistance to downy mildew
This variety of spinach matures very fast in about 24 days.
Bloomsdale is a classic variety of savoy spinach that withstands heat better than others, so it offers the best of both worlds.
Also, it’s known for its garden-fresh flavor.
In 50 days, it produces thick, succulent, dark-green leaves that are very sweet in salads.
When planted in autumn, Bloomsdale will overwinter and mature in the early spring, though it’s best sown in early spring for late spring and early summer harvests.
Gazelle has smooth leaves that are uniform, and bunches that make it perfect for baby leaf harvest.
It’s also highly downy mildew resistant and ready for harvest in just 26 days.
Palco matures in 38 days and is adaptable as both a cool-season and warm-season crop.
This variety of spinach has flat leaves that you can harvest as baby greens or enjoy after attaining its full size.
It is both molt and mildew resistant.
6. Red Tabby
Red Tabby is a variety that has smooth spinach leaves that are red in color with angular leaves in an upright growing habit
It matures in a month and is downy mildew resistant.
Renegade has fleshy, round, smooth, dark green leaves and sweet, tender stems.
It also has flat spinach leaves that mature in 42 days.
Space is a slightly savoyed spinach with medium green leaves that are highly resistant to downy mildew and mature in just 25 days.
It is versatile — grow it in all seasons.
Conditions Necessary for Growing Spinach In A Pot
Spinach will do excellently well in well-drained soil rich in organic matter such as compost or composted (aged) manure.
The soil should have a pH range between 6.5 and 8.
The optimum growing temperature is about 50°F to 60°F but young seedlings can tolerate temperatures up to 15°F to 20°F.
The ideal relative humidity for spinach is between 90% to 95%
Spinach grows best in deep, loam soils and a cool climate.
Generally, spinach requires one to one and a half inches of water per week.
Also, adding a layer of mulch around the plants also can help to maintain soil moisture.
Spinach likes direct sun for at least 6 or more hours but will tolerate partial shade.
How To Grow Spinach In A Pot
Young seedlings need temperatures between 10°F to 20°F and so, it is better to start them in pots indoors to give them a better chance of survival.
Here are 6 steps to grow your spinach in a pot.
Step 1: Seed Preparation For Spinach
A week before planting, soak spinach seeds in room temperature water for 24 hours.
Place the wet seeds on a paper towel and allow them to dry at room temperature for a day or two.
Shift the seeds to an airtight container and keep them in a cool place for up to a week.
These processes are called Priming and people do it because it helps your spinach seeds grow better.
Step 2: Soil/ Potting Soil Preparation For Spinach Planting
For quality potting mix rich in organic matter.
Loosen the soil in the pot and apply fertilizer, manure, or compost.
Whichever you want to use, mix it with the soil using your hands and then even it out.
Step 3: Planting Of Spinach Seeds
Put the seedlings into the pot and water it.
Priming, as done above, will make the seeds grow faster and uniformly.
Step 4: Growing Your Spinach Seeds
Spinach is a thirsty crop that enjoys up to 1.5 inches of water per week.
If it hasn’t rained that much in a week, make up for it by supplemental irrigation.
Water under the foliage, right at ground level to avoid wetting the leaves.
Step 5: Transplanting Your Spinach Seedlings From Their Pots To The Soil
When your seedling has about three to four leaves, it is ready to plant out in the garden.
Amend and loosen your garden soil in preparation for transplanting.
Try to increase the temperature of the soil to reduce the shock of the seedlings.
After that, transplant the seedlings from pot to soil in the following 10 steps.
1. Check soil moisture.
Test to see if your soil is too wet or too dry to dig.
Soil should be moist but not soaking wet.
Water deeply a day before working the soil.
Soil that’s too dry pulls moisture out of plant roots and damages them.
2. Use a rake
Use a rake to create a smooth and level surface.
3. Dig a planting hole
You need to dig a planting hole that’s a little bit bigger than the plant’s root ball and about as deep.
4. Turn the pot upside down.
While supporting the soil side with your other hand, be careful not to crush or drop the plant.
Tap the bottom of the pot to help the seedling out.
5. Place the seedling
Plant the seedlings in the planting hole at the same depth that it was growing in the pot.
You should be able to cover the seedling with about ¼ inch of soil. Fill in with soil around the rootball.
6. Gently tamp down
Gently tamp down the soil around the seedling so there’s good contact between the seedling’s roots and the soil.
7. Soaking the soil
Soak the soil around new seedlings immediately after transplanting in order to settle the roots, eliminate air pockets, and reduce the potential of transplant shock.
8. Care for the plant after transplanting
A few days after transplanting, give each seedling a cup of starter fertilizer to ensure that phosphorus is available in the root zone of new transplants
This helps to promote strong root development.
Mix two tablespoons of a 15-30-15 starter fertilizer into a gallon of water (one tablespoon for vining crops such as melons and cucumbers).
9. Dry Season
If the season or your climate is particularly dry, spread mulch to reduce moisture loss.
10. Watch Out For Late Spring Frosts
Watch the forecast for late spring frosts and plan to protect your plants accordingly.
Clothes, cold frames, or sheets can be used to protect plants.
Be sure to remove protective coverings in the morning.
Harvest Your Spinach Regularly
To harvest your spinach, remove only the outer (older) leaves with a sharp knife about 30mm to 50mm above the ground.
Be sure that you don’t damage the new leaves.
Store Your Spinach Leaves Properly
If you do not plan to use the leaves immediately, put them in bunches and put them in water to keep them fresh for longer.
Diseases Of Spinach
It is caused by a fungus, Colletotrichum spp and it appears as small water-soaked spots on leaves that enlarge and turn tan or brown in color with a papery texture.
If the infection is severe, lesions may cause severe blighting.
You can use copper fungicides are sometimes used in the case of an epidemic but are largely ineffective at controlling the disease.
2. Fusarium oxysporum
It is caused by fungi, Rhizoctonia solani and Pythium spp.
Fusarium oxysporum affects the germination rate of seeds, causes the death of newly emerged seedlings and stunted, yellow plants, particularly lower leaves.
It also causes wilting and collapse of roots of older plant which may be water-soaked and discolored brown or black.
To prevent, use seed that has been treated with fungicide and avoid planting spinach successively in the same location.
3. Downy mildew (Blue mold)
This disease is caused by a fungus, Peronospora farinosa.
Initial symptoms of the disease are yellow spots on cotyledons and leaves which enlarge over time and become tan in color with a dry texture.
Purple fungal growth is present on the underside of leaves and severe infestations can result in curled and distorted leaves
Plant varieties of spinach are resistant to the disease and also apply appropriate fungicides that can help to protect the plant if applied before infection begins.
4. Fusarium wilt
It is caused by a fungus, Fusarium oxysporum.
Yellowing of older leaves may occur and plants may reach maturity early.
Also, premature death of plants and reduced seed production or death of plants before seed production may take place.
Avoid planting spinach in soils known to be infested with Fusarium or where spinach has been planted the previous year.
You can also plant early as it can help to protect the seedlings from the disease due to lower soil temperatures which are less favorable to the pathogen.
Tips For Caring for Spinach Plants You Grow in Pots
- Get good spinach seeds.
- Fertilize as much as your soil needs.
- Water regularly.
- Give your spinach plants access to 6 to 8 hours per day.
- Sow your seeds in fertile soil.
By now, you should know how to grow spinach in a pot.
Also, you should know the uses and health benefits of spinach.
In addition, you should know how to harvest and store your spinach leaves.
You have now learned about the diseases that affect spinach and how you can prevent or manage them.
If you have any extra questions that are not in the FAQs, you can send them and we will get back to you.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQs) about Growing Spinach Plants in Pots
- What is the best fertilizer for spinach?
Any fertilizer with enough nitrogen is good enough but 10-10-10 is the best for spinach.
- How can I protect my spinach plants?
Protective measures include spacing plants at the recommended distance to allow good air circulation.
Also, apply water directly to the soil to keep the foliage dry.
- How should I water?
When you want to water, water the roots a few inches upwards from the base.
It's not advisable to wet the foliage as this may make it susceptible to some diseases.
- What are the other nutrients spinach plants can need?
Your spinach plants will also need magnesium and calcium.