By: Kay, the APLD resident Master Gardener
Spinach likes weather that is cool, so now is a good time to start seedlings indoors. It enjoys 10-12 hours of medium sunlight. Longer, hotter days will cause the plant to bolt, going to flower instead of leaf development as it does with longer summer days. So placing the container on a windowsill that receives morning to afternoon sunlight works fine. A grow light is great, but not necessary.
The directions on the back of the seed package will have information such as how to sow seeds, fertilizer, harvest, and even how to freeze crop. Pay close attention to the sowing instructions. Important to get seeds to germinate. Soil temperature, moistness, and seed preparation are items to pay close attention.
Spinach seeds are rather large with tough outer layers. Soak the seeds in slightly warm water overnight for quicker germination. After 24 hours fill a planter with potting mix or specialized seed starting soil mix. Add warm water to soil to soak, but not drown seeds. It should have a consistently of damp towels. Make sure the container has holes on the bottom for good drainage. That way the roots won’t rot once the root system develops. It’s okay to grow spinach in a container large enough to grow several bunches without the need to transplant once the spinach plants are fully grown.
Place seeds 1/2 inch deep with two seeds per hole. Again, these measurements will be on back of seed package. Cover seeds with light dry soil. It will absorb extra water. Seal entire container with clear plastic or lid that will allow light in. This is green-housing, great environment for starting most seeds of any variety.
Staggering sowing times a week apart will allow smaller harvests for longer seasons. Spinach is quick growing and in 45 days harvest can begin.