If you’re looking for some fresh vegetables on hands nearby the kitchen, consider growing spinach in containers. It’s such a great idea to apply to the home garden.
This vegetable should be a part of it because these dark leafy green plants are good for the health.
Besides, it’s quite friendly to be applied to an urban gardening style in your house. This post will let people learn how to grow the spinach in containers’ indoor and outdoor areas.
Do not worry, it is quite easy to deal with.
Why Having Spinach?
First of all, we don’t recommend you to grow only spinach in your garden. People have this plant as one of the vegetables growing in the area.
Choosing spinach over many other vegetables is because it brings health benefits.
For good reason, Spinach is the favorite food of a popular cartoon character, Popeye the sailor man. He taught the kids to eat them because it can boost the strength and energy for him.
Even though it’s not gonna be the same thing that happens in reality, this vegetable does contain a lot of nutrients.
Spinach doesn’t only contain iron. You can also get vitamins A and C, potassium, thiamin, folic acid, carotenoids lutein, and zeaxanthin.
From carotenoids, you can get nutrients for the eyes to keep them healthy.
The vitamins will keep the cardiovascular system healthy. It also keeps people away from a heart attack, stroke, and even cancers. One more thing, it tastes good.
You can grow spinach in containers. It’s quite ideal for them. Having pots accomodating the soil and plant would avoid the plants from pests and diseases. It’s also easy to access.
Set it anywhere people want, on the window sill, on a balcony, and much other space.
As long as, the plants get the sunlight it needs every day, any spot would be okay. When you have the spinach ready to harvest, don’t wait any longer. Just harvest it and enjoy the freshness.
Choosing the Pots
You can begin by sowing the seeds about a half-inch deep right into the container or tray. It would become seedlings in 5 to 14 days. The amount of time it needs depending on the plant variety and condition.
If you have it on a seed tray, Just wait for about 2 to 3 days until the leaves appear. Then, just begin to transplant them and put them on the pots that’s already prepared.
Otherwise, you can buy the spinach in a form of seedlings from the garden center, no need to wait for a couple of weeks.
For the containers to grow spinach, you need to get the one that has at least six to eight inches of depth.
There’s no need to get it very deep. Aim the wider one of spinach container size. It would be better for the plants. Get the large boxes and plant the seeds there.
On the other hand, go with growing spinach in pots. There are no specific requirements in choosing the containers to grow the spinach.
Just consider the depth and width according to the containers to your style of gardening.
The Mixing of Soil for Growing Spinach in Containers
Choosing the right soil quality is very important when gardening in containers. You should choose the potting mix that is rich in organic matter.
Check the texture. It should be loamy and crumbly. avoid having it waterlogged.
One of the most important factors to optimally grow the spinach in containers is the well-draining soil. You should also get a neutral pH for it. There are some tips to apply regarding this step.
Add some fertilizer to the soil. The slow-release one would give the spinach a nutrient-rich mix it needs.
Since drainage is very important, you need to add some grit or perlite to the mix. This kind of fertilization will make up for the organic matter that drains out of the pots.
The well-fertilized soil is great for spinach because it would avoid the bitter taste. If you don’t use any slow-release fertilizer, feed, and water the plant regularly.
Positioning and Spacing
This one is also quite important to consider. There’s a recommended concept that you should follow.
For the spacing, there should be 3 inches of space between each plant. Just choose to get some larger spinach leaves by giving more distance up to 5 inches.
If the plan is to harvest the spinach when it’s still young, just have a 2-inches space to each other. Divide the area into squares, check how many plants you can have in one wide planter or boxes.
What about the position? If you begin the growing step during the fall or autumn season, set the spinach plant in a sunny spot. That’s because the sun comes in a shorter time with less intensity.
During the spring and summer, keep the plants in a shady space especially when the sun hits its highest heat in the afternoon.
If you live in a tropical or subtropical climate, get all the spinach to sit on the spot that has plenty of shade.
Taking Care of Spinach in Containers
After you plant the spinach seeds or seedlings, take good care of them.
First, water them regularly. If it gets water stagnation, the plants would get rot and various fungal diseases. So, the watering should be often and regular. Also, don’t wet the foliage.
Maintain the quality of soil to be moist no soggy or wet. You have to take care of the drainage that every container has.
Growing spinach in containers won’t be so challenging as long as the water intake is right.
To grow healthy spinach veggies, nutrients are needed. During the planting process, you should mix time-based fertilizer with the soil.
As an alternative, take much compost into the mixture. It will slowly give the plant nutrients.
Even growing spinach in containers, gardening will require mulching. You should mulch them with organic matter. It will be very helpful to retain the moisture it needs.
Some people may decide to have the spinach side by side with other plants in one container. They pair it with the one with like requirements such as marigolds or petunias. Make sure to leave a bit of space in between.
Besides, parsley can also be a great friend with spinach to grow side by side. Another thing to try is having the plant surround teepee pole beans.
When the weather is warming, you will see the center area of the container begin to take off.
Watch for Pests in Growing Spinach with Containers
Having spinach as part of the home garden could face some issues regarding pests and diseases.
People like to have this vegetable in their urban gardening lifestyle because it’s easy to grow and quick to harvest. Knowing about the problems should be in considerations too.
Few pests that can ruin your spinach plants. Here are the most common ones:
- Cutworms and wireworms. These two pests are quite different. One can cut the seedlings off the ground and the other will feed on the foliage. You can get rid of them by planting full-grown carrots nearby. They will get attached to it and pull up the carrots to remove them.
- Aphids. This one is quite common. It’s like the natural enemy of spinach. To keep them away, use neem oil or insecticidal soaps.
- Flea beetles. Beware of these insects. They will feed on the foliage at its young age. The damage can easily be seen. There will be several small holes that look like the leaves have been shot by a shotgun.
You could also find the bleached and pitted areas on them. Use insecticides for help.
Other kinds of pests that can also disturb the plants such as leaf miners, or slugs and snails.
Some of the insects can only be seen when you grow a vegetable on a real outdoor garden. Learn how to trap them when you’re growing spinach in containers.
Spinach Diseases in Containers
Pests are not the only problem you would face in growing spinach in containers. There will be other issues that will pop up in the garden. Here are the diseases that are often occurred on the plant.
- Downy Mildew.
This disease will cause light green or yellow spots on the upper area of the leaves surface. There will also be some white fungus on the lower side.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to get rid of them. Just get rid of the infected leaves. Prevent it by giving good air circulation in the area.
- Damping-off. Growing spinach in containers can also face this kind of problem. It will make the seedlings fall over and die.
But, to prevent this issue, use quality seeds, and don’t overwater it. The compost should be processed thoroughly before pouring it into the soil.
- Viruses. This is the disease that spinach gets from insects. To avoid this issue, control the infestations of the insect as much as possible.
Once the plants got infected, you can’t cure them. Pull them off the soil to prevent the spread.
Sometimes, the issues and problems with spinach come from the conditions of the area and how you grow them.
In a cool condition, this vegetable will grow better. During the hot weather, it will take a longer time for the seeds to germinate. There’s a chance they don’t germinate at all.
So, it’s better to avoid growing spinach in containers with hot weather. It’s recommended to begin planting in the late winter season or early spring. During the summer, give the plants a half-day of shade.
Spinach Varieties to Grow
Savoy and Semi-Savoy Spinach
Savoy and Semi-Savoy Spinach
This kind of spinach will grow best in cooler weather. It’s got productive yields too. These varieties will produce heavily in the early summer season.
However, they are prone to get bolting at an early stage. It’s the condition when the plant gets more flowers or seeds instead of leaves.
So, the spinach will be less leafy because of the hot weather in the summer. So, it’s recommended to grow spinach in containers when it’s the spring. During fall or winter, it may need special attention and treatment.
The Savoy spinach has a deep green leaf that’s crinkled heavily. Because of furrows, it can cause you some trouble in the cleaning.
If you’re looking for spinach that is well-known for home gardening, you can opt for the semi-savoy variety.
That’s because this kind of spinach is more resistant to early bolting and diseases. The leaves are less crinkled than the Savoy ones.
You can buy the variety named Tyee, Teton, Indian summer, and Cataline from the garden centers.
It’s quite easy to identify this spinach variety. Just look at the leaves. It would be flat and smooth with little to no crinkles.
That’s what makes it so different from the Savoy varieties. This is quite a common choice for manufacturers that produce processed spinach products.
People can easily find the products at the local grocery stores. Choose this one for easy growing spinach in containers.
There’s no need for special treatments for it. Just water it enough and use the right potting mix.
Alternative Varieties for Growing Spinach
Let’s make things clear first. The real spinach doesn’t go well with heat. So, it’s not recommended to grow spinach in containers during the summer season.
However, there’s hope for you who live in a hot climate because there are 2 varieties of spinach that do thrive during hot weather.
Both can grow under the same treatment and the taste is similar too. They are New Zealand spinach and Malabar. You can find them at the garden centers nearby.
The Malabar variety is great for sauteing and stir-frying. It’s great cooking ingredients for a healthy meal.
On the other hand, New Zealand spinach is better to eat raw in salads. You better not sautee or stir fry it.
After all, there are some considerations before growing spinach in containers. Having more knowledge about the plants, soil, problems, and all the recommended things are great to make sure the gardener will have the vegetable in outstanding quality.