Last Updated on October 29, 2022 by Cinthia
Let’s talk about growing spinach indoors with hydroponics. The spinach veg is an excellent food loaded with many nutritional benefits. Therefore, it will be a great addition to your garden having these fresh leafy greens and they will grow so well in hydroponics.
The spinach growing season is usually restricted to spring and fall. But with growing spinach hydroponically, you get to enjoy your spinach all year round.
We are all about easy indoor gardening and we have outlined all you need to know about growing spinach indoors hydroponics.
Growing spinach in hydroponics is very rewarding. You get to enjoy plucking your fresh leafy greens from your indoor garden rather than buying from the grocery stores.
Here is a guide on how you can go about growing spinach in your hydroponics, so read on to learn more.
Tips To Growing Spinach Indoors Hydroponics
Let’s look at how you can germinate hydroponics spinach from seeds. So, the first thing is to germinate your seeds using rapid rooter plugs. Before germinating, always soak the seed plugs in water. Also, ensure you only put a couple of seeds into the plugs to get a successful result.
You can sow about 4 or 5 seeds in each rapid rooter plug. To enjoy a continuous year-round harvest, you can continue to sow new seeds every couple of weeks.
Unlike other leafy greens such as lettuce, basil, etc, it can take up to 3 weeks longer for your spinach seeds to germinate. The ideal temperature for your spinach seed to grow optimally is around 45 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, give them a light duration of about 12 to 14 hours per day.
Avoid using a heating mat or pad because spinach is a cool-weather crop and raising their temperature can cause poor germination.
You will need to pinch off the heads of several plants once the seedlings begin to sprout above the starter plugs. Ensure you pinch and not pull so you don’t disturb the root system. Only the healthiest or strongest seedlings should be left to continue their growing process.
Once you notice the root emerging out of the starter cube, you can now transfer your spinach seedlings into your hydroponic system. Then you should begin your spinach growth on a one-quarter diluted solution before you increase the strength of your solution slowly.
Hydroponic System For Growing Spinach
We have various types of hydroponics systems and many of them can work for growing indoor hydroponics spinach.
The best types of hydroponics to grow with spinach include nutrient film technique (NFT), raft, and deep water culture (DWC).
Spinach plants usually have shallow roots, therefore, your hydroponic systems do not need to be so deep. Nevertheless, one of the easiest ways to get started with growing spinach hydroponically is by using the deep water culture system (DWC).
Light Duration For Hydroponic Spinach
Spinach is a low to moderate light duration requiring plant and they don’t need too much intense light. You can supply your hydroponic spinach plant with about 10 to 14 hours of light a day.
There are many different grow light options you can go for when it comes to growing spinach indoors with hydroponics. One great choice is the fluorescent grow light. This is because of its minimal heat emission, moderate power consumption, and affordability.
Nutrient and PH Requirement For Spinach Hydroponic
Clearly, we want our spinach to always grow bountifully in its vegetative stage. To achieve this, you need to provide your spinach plant with NPK nutrients with a high nitrogen ratio. This same nutrient scheme will encourage only the vegetative phase and it can be used up until the harvest period.
Therefore, nutrients high in nitrogen, as well as phosphorous, will enhance the growth of your spinach. The appropriate pH range for spinach is around 5.5 to 6.5.
Temperature Requirements For Spinach
Spinach does not require too high a temperature as they are cool weather crops. The appropriate temperature range for spinach is around 45 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ensure your hydroponic spinach temperature does not 70 degrees. If it gets to 70 degrees, it may lead to plant bolting. Bolting is when your plant starts entering into the flowering stage which usually leads to bitter-tasting spinach.
Hydroponic Spinach Spacing Requirement
Because spinach is a shallow-rooted plant, it does not need a deep grow bed. So, you can give your spinach plant about 4 to 5 inches of space apart.
Harvest Time Duration For Spinach Hydroponics
Spinach plants should attain their full maturity around 35 to 40 days. Just like the lettuce cut and come again, you can simply harvest a small portion of your spinach. You can as well harvest the whole plant.
Benefits Of Growing Hydroponics Spinach
When you grow spinach hydroponically, you enjoy lots of benefits, and below are some of these benefits:
- Loaded With Great Nutrients: The leafy spinach is an incredibly healthy food that can be added to your food recipes. It is loaded with iron, vitamins, and folate. It is also great nutrition for blood health and bones.
- Easy To Garden With: Growing spinach in hydroponics is one easy plant to garden with. Your plants will be less prone to soil-borne disease and have no stress of weeding.
- All-year-round Supply: Unlike when you grow spinach in an outdoor traditional garden, you may be restricted to growing spinach only during spring. But with growing spinach indoors hydroponics, you enjoy all year round freshly spinach supply.
- Rapid Growth: Growing spinach with hydroponics encourages faster growth and a healthy abundant yield.
Can spinach be grown hydroponically?
Yes. You will find that there are many different methods to choose from and you can even mix and match them to suit your needs. As long as there is adequate oxygen, water, nutrients and light, your plants will thrive.
It is very easy to grow spinach in a hydroponic system. Most people use the soilless mix (hydroton) with rockwool or vermiculite for growing. The plants need a lot of light and need to be fertilized regularly. You should know the amount of water you are giving the plant by the size of the container. For example, a large pot will require more water than a smaller one. You can also check the potting soil for moisture content. If it is dry, you can add water.
Can you grow spinach without fancy equipment?
Yes, you can. The first time I tried it, I used a plastic pot with holes drilled in it, a plastic cup for water and a piece of cloth as a growing medium. It worked pretty well. Here's what I did: I had a 10-inch pot with holes drilled in it, so I put two pots side by side, about 2 inches apart. I put the pot that was to grow spinach in the second one.
I put the pot with the plastic cup on top of the spinach pot, and put the plastic cup right over the holes in the spinach pot. Then, I put a small plastic cup with water in it next to the spinach pot. The plastic cup was a bit bigger than the pot, so I could put a few seeds in it and put the pot right over them. I put a little bit of soil in the bottom of the plastic pot, so that the roots wouldn't get dried out. Then, I put some seeds in the plastic cup, and put the pot right over the seeds. When the seeds germinate, they'll grow up through the holes in the bottom of the spinach pot and into the water. You can use any kind of seed, but I found that spinach seeds germinated the fastest.
In a couple days, the plants will be big enough to transplant into their permanent pots. I put the little seedlings in a bigger pot, and then planted them outside in my garden.
Do all lettuces need the same amount of light in a hydroponic system?
The amount of light needed for spinach varies quite a bit depending on the variety of spinach that's being grown.
This means that if you want to have the very best crop you should look into the best types of grow lights for the type of lettuce that you are growing.
As we can see, there are awesome benefits to growing spinach indoors with hydroponics. Simply follow our tips on how to successfully grow your spinach in the comfort of your home and enjoy fresh green spinach.
Remember; keep your spinach seed moist when germinating. Transplant them into your hydroponics when the roots have sprouted out of the germinating cubes. Start with moderate nutrients and gradually raise the nutrient strength as they develop. Also, supply spinach with low light intensity and a short duration of about 12 hours daily.