There are several varieties of spinach, which will determine what your best planting season is. It is a crop that does best in cool to cold climates. Savoy varieties, those with dark, crinkly leaves, are best planted in the fall. Savoy spinaches develop a pleasant crisp when exposed to cold weather. Smooth-leafed spinach is better for warmer seasons, and grows much more quickly. This is the type of spinach preferred in a salad.
When planting spinach, make sure to choose an area that enjoys ample sunlight. Even though extreme heat is bad for the plant, it does tend to thrive more when there is adequate sun exposure. Pick soil with good drainage and slight acidity. Be sure to generously fertilize the soil, as spinach loves nutrient-rich earth to grow in. To harvest spinach in the spring, plant 4-6 weeks before the last frost, and harvest before the days reach 14 hours of sunlight. For a fall harvest, plant 6-8 weeks before the first frost. For an overwinter yield, plant your spinach in the later half of the fall and enjoy a small harvest before it goes dormant. With this strategy, you’ll enjoy an early harvest the next year.
With careful planting, care, and watering, you’ll enjoy a healthy harvest of this healthy vegetable. It is preferred to carefully remove the outer leaves when harvesting, even though it is very easy to uproot the entire plant. Removing the outer leaves will allow the inner leaves to mature more, and create a more productive yield.