Spinach: Uses & How to Grow
Spinach is great plant to grow - relatively easy to grow in cool climates, healthy and a few pots or a small patch of garden will last you through the winter. It’s not only high in iron; it is a rich source of vitamins A and C, thiamin, potassium, folic acid and carotenoids.
It’s also a hit tastewise –palak paneer is a winter staple in most households!
How to grow
Spinach can be grown in your garden, or even a container – just make sure it receives partial to full sun. A rich soil is important for spinach, so add lots of well-rotted compost material to the soil and dig it into the surface soil.
If you’re using a pot/ container, choose one that is at least 8 inches deep and 10-12 inches wide. Otherwise use a large rectangular container for a few plants. Drill at least 4 – 8 drainage holes in your pots to promote drainage. A potting mix of soil, perlite, vermiculite and mature compost is suitable.
In pots, sow your seeds around 3 inches apart (in a garden, make rows about 13 to 15 inches apart). Place your on top of the soil and cover loosely with about ½ inch thick compost. Don’t pack the compost down as that may prevent the sprouts from emerging. The seeds will sprout in a week to 2 weeks.
Harvesting & Propagation
Spinach is ready to harvest at about 30-45 days after planting. The spinach leaves can be harvested whenever they look big enough and ready for your intended use (younger smaller leaves for salads, mature larger leaves for cooking). You can either pick leaves from the outside of the plant, and let the inner leaves grow to produce a new crop, or harvest the whole plant.
Eat the spinach fresh for the maximum taste and nutrition. Washed leaves can be stored in the fridge for a few days, or you can freeze the leaves in Ziploc pouches for longer periods.
Spacing spinach out will help fungal diseases like downy mildew (blue mold) and fusarium wilt away, as these problems thrive in the cool damp conditions that spinach thrives in. Aphids also pose a risk, please refer to our organic pesticides page for help!
Spinach can be used in Koftas, pastas, salads, soups, kneaded in flour to increase the nutritive value of chapatis, and much more.
Spinach is an excellent food for anaemics, and is good for the lymphatic, urinary, and digestive systems. It is a beneficial as a good laxative, for weight-loss diets and can be used in cases of low vitality, sterility, impotency, neuralgia, tired nerves and nervous debility.