Knowing how to harvest spinach goes a long way to impact the growth of the plant after harvest. Spinach is a really fast-growing plant, as such, it has the ability to yield quite a lot of leaves in a short time.
Growing spinach must be done with tact and with careful attention paid to the plant. The trick with growing spinach lies in making the plant last as long as possible, even after harvesting. This article gives you a guide on how to harvest spinach so as to keep the plant alive for a long period.
Before we delve into how to harvest spinach, let’s briefly consider how to grow the plant.
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Guide On Growing Spinach
When growing spinach, ensure to take note and observe the following tips:
- The best time to plant spinach is during the cool weather- very early spring, late summer or early fall, and late fall through mid-winter.
- Ensure to space spinach plants about 12 inches apart in well-drained soil with a pH of 6.5 to 7.0. The plant should be prepared with the appropriate soil nutrient.
- You should check the soil moisture from time to time and ensure to keep it consistent.
- If you want to attain tender and very rapid leaf production, you should feed on a regular basis with water-soluble plant food.
- You should begin to harvest once leaves are large enough to be eaten, starting with the outermost leaves.
Harvesting Spinach – How To Harvest Spinach
Knowing how to harvest your spinach goes a long way to affect the lifespan of the plant. A convenient way to harvest spinach is to do so with scissors by cutting the leaves at the stem. This should be done by first focusing on the outer and older leaves first, and then gradually harvesting to the center.
Another method that may be adopted when harvesting spinach is to cut the whole plant off at the base instead of the stem. This method allows the plant to re-sprout and give you another partial harvest. You should ensure to decide when you intend to use the plant before harvesting.
If you want the plant to continue to flourish and last for long, you must take further precautions when harvesting. One of these is to ensure not to take more than 25-30% of a single plant at any point in time. This gives the plant room to continue to grow and blossom.
When harvesting baby spinach leaves, you should cut off individual outer leaves, but also ensure to leave the crown of the plant. Leaving this intact will allow the plant to regrow for a future harvest. You should halt after two harvests, and carry on the third only after the baby leaves are fully mature.
When To Harvest Spinach
Knowing the best time to harvest your spinach also goes a long way to impact harvest and yield. Generally, the best timing for your harvest is dependent primarily on the type of green you are growing.
When you planted is baby spinach, they are usually ready to be harvested between 20 to 30 days after the seeds were sown. During this timeline, baby spinach leaves are still round in shape and very tender.
Where on the other hand, you are growing mature spinach, you may need to wait longer. The leaves will have to get thick, broad and in some varieties crinkled. These mature spinaches are usually ready to harvest between 38 and 50 days after planting.
Can You Plant Spinach In Succession To Aid Harvest Yield?
You may have wondered if Spinach is one of those vegetables that can be planted in succession, say for instance every week instead of planting at once. This is referred to as succession planting.
Succession planting of spinach seeds has been discovered to be the best way to maximize your harvest. When adopting this planting style, spread the sowing of the seeds out over several weeks. By doing so, you ultimately spread your harvest over a long period of time.
Planting And Growing Spinach For Best Harvest
You should do the following when planting and growing spinach so as to attain the best possible harvest:
- The seeds should be sown about 0.5 inches deep every 2 inches. You should plant in rows of about 12 to 18 inches apart.
- You should adopt succession planting if you wish to get the best possible result.
- Thinning should be done when seedlings sprout about 2 inches apart. The ideal spacing should be about 3-4 inches apart.
- Spinach does well with water, so water regularly and mulch so as to retain as much water in the soil as possible.
- The nutrient application should be done even as plants continue to grow. It is appropriate to add nitrogen fertilizer when the plant begins to grow so that the leaves can retain their green color.
- Spinach may get affected by pests and diseases such as leaf miners, bolting, leaf spot, Cercospora among others. You should therefore be very observant with your spinach and apply the appropriate pesticide when needed.
It is very important to note that harvesting spinach requires some effort because of the nature of the plant. It is, therefore, best to harvest the amount of spinach that you will be needing immediately. By so doing, you don’t need to bother with preserving or storing the vegetable.
Where, however, you have a bumper harvest that cannot be consumed immediately, you can preserve the extra by freezing it in a sealed container or bags. By doing this, you may retain the nutritious and delicious taste of the harvested spinach for some time.
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Conclusion on How To Harvest Spinach
From the above, you would notice that growing and harvesting spinach is not an entirely difficult task to do. You must however pay very close attention when harvesting the plant. Harvesting the proper way may help elongate the lifespan of the plant long after harvest.
Harvesting may be done in different ways depending on the result you wish to attain. Planting, caring for and harvesting spinach is not difficult if these simple tips are followed.
How to harvest spinach without killing the plant?
If you wish to harvest spinach without killing the plant, you should be careful enough to cut only the leaves from the stem and not cut the stem. Also, ensure that you do not harvest more than one-third (1/3) of the leaves on a plant.
How to harvest spinach seeds?
The spinach seeds are usually attached to the stem of the female spinach plant. The seeds begin to appear when the spinach plant begins to mature. You should pick up the seeds as they fall or remove them from the plant just before they fall from the stem.
How to harvest spinach so it keeps growing?
If you wish to harvest spinach so it keeps growing, you must exercise some caution when harvesting. You should be careful enough to cut only the leaves from the stem and not cut the stem. Also, ensure that you do not harvest more than one-third (1/3) of the leaves on a plant. As much as possible, try to harvest from the outside down to the inside. For baby spinach, you should be careful not to cut off the crown when harvesting.
How long to harvest spinach?
Baby spinach should be harvested between 20 to 30 days after being planted. However, for mature spinach, you should wait longer. It should be harvested between 38 to 50 days.