Spinach is one of the easiest and best plans to grow indoors. Growing spinach doesn’t need that much sunlight or room. Spinach is also a super versatile vegetable in the kitchen.
Can you grow it indoors?
Spinach will grow exceptionally well indoors since they can survive under shade. You don’t need large pots or bright windowsills or expensive lighting rigs. In short, it is a low maintenance low effort vegetable.
Can spinach be grown in containers?
Yes, definitely. I grow most of my spinach in containers inside as it is a better use of space in my personal situation. You can also grow spinach in pot and trays. If you don’t have that a tall glass will actually work as it gives good room for the roots to grow into. Any pot will do as long as it fits your space.
How to grow spinach indoors?
The placement of your growing container is important when growing indoors. You don’t need lots of light but the spinach will benefit from at least some light. A windowsill is ideal but not necessary. If you own a light rig for growing herbs that will work perfect.
Try not to give it too much sunlight as it can damage the plant. A benefit to growing indoors is that depending on where you place your spinach you can control every factor of the growing conditions.
The size of your container isn’t too important. it’s more about the quantity of seeds you add in proportion the container. I mentioned earlier that I grew spinach in glasses that were deep. That method works well as long as you don’t overload the glass with seeds.
I do recommend a plain old flower pot as it just works well. You can move it anywhere very easily. If you want an enormous quantity of spinach a more tray like container with a bit of depth will give you more of a harvest than a pot.
Space between seedlings
The way I see it, there is two ways of spacing your seeds. You could space each seed out so they are a good bit away from each other or you could just sprinkle the seeds all around the container and let them grow, you might have to thin out the seeds if the seedlings are struggling to grow but that mightn’t be necessary. If you are using a more tray like container growing the spinach in rows and then thinning out the row so you get big leaves might be a good idea.
You will want a good quality well-draining soil. Choose one that will keep the seeds from getting waterlogged. You might also like to get a soil with some fertilizer included in it. If you were to use soil from your garden, you’d have to make sure there aren’t any weed seeds in it. That can be a big problem when the seeds are growing, as you might get confused between the two seedlings and pick out the wrong one.
The temperature is important as it can decide how fast your seeds will grow. One of the benefits of growing indoors is that you can control the temperature. Spinach is a winter crop and is very hardy in most temperatures. Young plants will bolt if exposed to temperatures below 4 degrees Celsius, but mature plants will withstand temperatures as low as -4 degrees Celsius. The ideal temperature would be around 10 to 15 degrees Celsius. As spinach is a cold weather crop, so don’t let it get too hot.
Ideally a bright windowsill would do to grow your spinach. But not everyone has such conditions. If you could afford it, you can buy a lighting rig for growing herbs and leafy plants. That isn’t always ideal as they can be expensive.
Incandescent lights are cheaper and can work. Although led grow-lights are known to work as well. The plants will grow well in medium light, they like a bit of shade but they enjoy the light.
Watering the plants
When watering the plants, you mustn’t over water them as spinach can be very temperamental about its water conditioning. The spinach will not grow well if it gets waterlogged. A good rule is to always water once a day. If the soil looks dry, give it some water.
Since we are growing spinach indoors, the soil won’t get dry very fast. Don’t give spinach long soaks everyday instead give it some small bursts of water to keep the surface of the soil damp.
Tip: Add a layer of mulch on the side to keep the moisture in the soil and maintain the temperature.
Fertilizers will give your spinach some extra gusto while it grows. Your spinach will be a bit bigger and leafier. A good fertilizer for spinach should be a nitrogen only fertilizer. You should only fertilize the spinach plants approximately every two weeks. So don’t apply too much as to overload the plants.
Spinach growing time
Spinach is a fast-growing plant, especially when compared to most vegetables. Like its leafy vegetable cousins, it will grow in only a few weeks.
How long does spinach take to grow? It usually takes around 6 weeks to grow but you can pick some of the leaves after around 4 and a half weeks but don’t pick too many too soon. If you plan on growing a large crop of spinach, I would recommend spacing out when you plant the seeds. Try planting one row/pot every week.
Will spinach grow back after cutting?
Spinach will regrow after cutting, but you should always leave at least 5cm of the base plant remaining when cutting the spinach. The plants should grow back after around 4 weeks to give you a second harvest.
Tips for caring for spinach
Try not to let the spinach get too hot. It might be smart to let your spinach sit outside during the day if your house is warmer than the outside. If you own a garage with a window that could be the perfect spot as it would be shady but still bright and cold but not freezing.
There’s not much caring needed for spinach.
You just need to make sure you have a deep enough container, a good variety of seeds, a good spot for it to grow and some ideas for how to use it once you reap the rewards of your effort.
Good varieties of spinach
Now let’s look into different types of spinach and varieties that you can grow indoors.
There are two main types of spinach, those are smooth leaf and Savoy.
- Smooth Leaf: The smooth leaf varieties are grown more for freezing and storing as such.
- Savoy: This type of spinach is grown more for fresh eating than smooth leaf savoy tends to taste better and has crinkly leaves.
Now let us see the different varieties of spinach. Here is a list of some good varieties.
- Bloomsdale longstanding: it has great taste but isn’t resistant to diseases.
- Olympia is a smooth leaf variety which is fast growing and has dark colour leaves.
- Space spinach is a smooth leaf variety and is fast growing and will freeze well.
- Flamingo spinach is a fast-growing flat spinach which only takes around twenty-seven days to grow.
- Kolibri spinach is a fast-growing semi savoy variety that can be picked early on.
- Catalina spinach is a great variety for salads and has a nutty flavour while not being metallic in taste.
- Bonnie spinach is a recent popular variety that is much more hot and cold resistant.
Uses of spinach
Spinach is a highly versatile and delicious vegetable that can be used in a wide variety of recipes.
- You can try a classic spinach recipe which is fried spinach and butter. All you have to do is melt a little butter in a pan and fry the spinach until it is soft and cooked. Add some more butter and season to your liking.
- You could make a spinach and artichoke dip, which goes well with lots of party food.
- You could make spinach puffs which are very nice cheese and spinach puff pastry appetisers.
- Salads are the most popular and easy use of spinach. You don’t need much for a salad with spinach. A nice salad might include radish beetroot spinach a honey a lemon salad dressing.
- You can make a spinach and ricotta filling for homemade raviolis, add some lemon and you have a complete dinner.
- Adding spinach into most tomato sauces can work well to incorporate greens into your diet.
- Sauteed spinach and poached eggs on an English muffin with some hollandaise sauce and bacon are a wonderfully delicious breakfast combination.
- Freezing your spinach is the best way to preserve it for later use. You can add the frozen spinach straight into most sauces, but for filings you would want to let it defrost.
- Spanakopita is a popular Greek use for spinach.
- Some people like to add spinach into their smoothies to make them extra healthy and to get the great vitamins.
- Steamed spinach is used for side dishes with dinners.
- Spinach pesto is another food item that’s easy to make.
Spinach has a whole host of health and diet benefits!
It has plenty of vitamin A, C and k1. It has lots of folic acid and iron and calcium. It has also been seen to improve eye health, blood pressure and oxidative stress.
In one study, compounds in spinach were found to slow the growth of tumours in patients.
Some things to note about spinach are that although it is generally very good for you if you are on some blood thinning medication, spinach can mess with the medicine if eaten in too large a quantity. There is also the chance of kidney stones but you would have to be eating a lot of your spinach I a short time.
Spinach is a great vegetable to grow indoors and offers many uses and heath benefits considering how little effort is involved.