Do you enjoy using spinach in fresh salads or warming stir-fries? We hear you. That’s why growing your own spinach at home. To enjoy more delicious recipes from your plants, you may want to learn how to harvest spinach.
Knowing when and how to harvest spinach can help ensure you extend the growth of your crop, so if you have some spinach growing in your garden, you may want to prepare to harvest it. Needless to say, spinach is packed with nutrition, making it the perfect garden staple to have around.
Though it may seem a little intimidating, especially when you are new to growing your own crops, you have nothing to worry about. Harvesting spinach couldn’t be easier; however, there are a few things you need to consider when harvesting so you can get the most out of your plant; you can also learn how to harvest basil without killing the plant.
How to Harvest Spinach
- If you have thick mulch around your spinach plant, push it back to reveal its growing point.
- Choose a leaf.
- Using pruning snips, a sharp knife, or even your fingernails, pinch, cut, or snip off the leaf’s stem close to the base of the plant but just above the top of the soil level. You don’t need to leave more than 1/2″ of stem above the soil’s surface to allow for regrowth.
- Continue harvesting until you have as much spinach as you need (but not more than 25-30% of the leaves on a single plant).
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Will spinach grow back after cutting?
It would help if you only harvested about 1/3 of each plant. Once you’ve harvested your spinach, you must water it and wait patiently for the next harvest. Spinach leaves will regrow in just a matter of days.
How do you harvest spinach so it keeps growing?
Spinach leaves are ready to harvest as soon as they are big enough to eat. Harvest by removing only the outer leaves and allowing the center leaves to grow larger, allowing the plant to keep producing. Picking the outer leaves also gives the advantage of briefly delaying bolting.
How many times can I harvest spinach?
As long as the growing point is not damaged during the initial harvesting and the weather is still cool, spinach plants will most likely regrow for two or more harvests. Harvesting spinach correctly greatly improves the chances of the spinach growing back for multiple harvests.
How are spinach leaves harvested?
Small spinach leaves can be harvested with scissors by simply cutting the leaves at the stem. One way to do this is to start harvesting the outer, older leaves first and then gradually work your way into the center of the plant as those leaves mature. You can also just cut the whole plant off at the base.
What is the best time to plant spinach?
In late winter or early spring for a fast crop and again in late summer or early fall after the hottest temperatures have passed. Spinach is a cool-weather vegetable.
How to plant spinach?
- Although seeds can be started indoors, it is not recommended, as seedlings are difficult to transplant.
- Sow seeds ½-inch to 1-inch deep, covering lightly with soil.
- Sow about 12 seeds per foot of row, or sprinkle over a wide row or bed.
- Water the new seedlings well in the spring.
How to care for spinach?
- Fertilize only if necessary due to slow growth, or use it as a supplement if your soil pH is inadequate.
- When seedlings sprout about two inches, thin them to 3-4 inches apart.
- Beyond thinning, no cultivation is necessary.
- Keep soil moist with mulching.
- Water regularly.
- Spinach can tolerate the cold; it can survive a frost and temps down to 15ºF (-9°C).
How to know when spinach is ready for harvest?
When the outer leaves are about 6 inches long, they’re ready to be harvested. Or, if it is spring and plants are near the end of the season, they will soon bolt.
What are the spinach varieties?
- Giant Nobel. It is a plain leaf variety.
- Winter Bloomsdale. It presents a crinkled leaf and is a fall variety.
- Tyee. It can be planted in spring or fall and is resistant to downy mildew.
- Malabar Spinach and New Zealand Spinach. They are known for being heat-tolerant leafy greens similar to common spinach.
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How to store fresh spinach?
Like other garden greens like lettuce, kale, and Swiss chard, Fresh spinach likes a good deal of moisture and chills in storage.
Unfortunately, the humidity of your refrigerator is very low. To solve this problem, wrap clean spinach in a damp, clean kitchen towel or paper towel and stash it in an airtight container or plastic bag. Make sure the towel stays damp.
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Should you freeze spinach?
Absolutely. Spinach produces a large crop relatively quickly in the cool weather of spring, so we recommend you pack some spinach away for the winter to lock in the flavor.
- Wash and dry the spinach well.
- Place it on a baking sheet, keeping it to a fairly shallow layer. Flash freeze until frozen solid.
- Place the whole frozen leaves in a plastic freezer bag or freezer-safe container. You can put in whole leaves or crunch the leaves up to save space.
- Freeze for up to a year.
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How to Harvest Spinach Additional Tips
- Harvest when leaves reach the desired size.
- Don’t wait too long to harvest or wait for larger leaves; bitterness will set in quickly after maturity.
- The whole plant can be harvested at once and cut at the base, or leaves may be picked off plants one layer at a time, giving inner layers more time to develop.
- Picking the outer leaves also gives the advantage of briefly delaying bolting.