How to Grow Spinach Indoors? Spinach is a nutritious and appetising vegetable that includes numerous nutrients that can aid in the treatment of a variety of diseases and health issues, such as increasing cognitive functions and weariness. It will also expand your options for leafy greens during the cold months. It can be used and prepared in a variety of ways; young fresh leaves are typically used for salads, older and larger leaves are commonly cooked, and extra leaves can be blanched and frozen and kept for later use. The best aspect is that you don’t need a garden to cultivate this nutritious vegetable. It is simple to grow spinach indoors; all you need is a window ledge or balcony.
Types of Spinach
To begin, you should be aware of the three types of spinach plants; you can select one based on your preferences.
This kind tolerates cold weather well but requires regular and careful leaf cleaning.
2. Semi Savory
This kind is more resistant to bolting and illness. They’re ideal for growing in a home garden or indoors. Teton, Catalina, Indian summer, and Tyee are the four primary types; Tyee is excellent for growing all year.
3. Smooth Leafed
This kind features flat, smooth leaves that are easy to clean. This variety is commonly used in canning and freezing.
When deciding which varieties of spinach to grow indoors, you must consider how much sunlight you can supply and the sort of climate you live in. Choose types that perform well in hot and humid climates, such as Catalina, Indian Summer, Bloomsdale longstanding, and Malabar, for a tropical climate. Choose cultivars that perform well in cold and winter-tolerant types of spinach for a colder climate. Winter Bloomsdale and Tyee are two of them.
How to Grow Spinach Indoors?
1. Seeds and Planting
When planting spinach for the first time, it’s better to utilise seeds from various types. Soak the spinach seeds in warm water for one day a week before planting. This increases the likelihood of seed germination. When you take them out of the water, gently pat them dry with a paper towel.
After soaking the seeds in water for a week, place them in an airtight container and store them in a cold area. This will keep the seeds moist enough for the first two stages of germination. When your spinach seeds are ready, spread them about the pot and cover them with half an inch of dirt.
2. Spacing to Grow Spinach Indoors
You should give spinach adequate room to develop. If you want to collect young spinach leaves, 3 inches is plenty. Give the plants extra space, at least 5 to 6 inches, if you want to choose larger leaves.
3. Soil to Grow Spinach Indoors
Use loamy soil rich in organic matter when growing spinach in pots or containers. The pH of the soil should be neutral, and soil that clogs the drainage pores should be avoided; well-draining soil is the ideal choice for growing spinach indoors.
4. Temperature and Light
Because spinach is a cool-season crop, ideal growing temperatures should range from 50 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Mature plants may handle temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit, while immature spinach will bolt if temperatures fall below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures ranging from 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit are generally ideal for growth.
If you grow spinach on a window sill or balcony, make sure it gets at least 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight per day, depending on the type of spinach. Although growing spinach in bright sunshine is ideal, it will also thrive in partial shade. LED lights are the finest solution for producing spinach indoors without access to sunshine. Seedlings require 14 to 15 hours of light per day in the early stages, and adult spinach plants require 8 to 10 hours of light each day.
5. Watering and Care to Grow Spinach Indoors
Water spinach frequently and prevent exposing it to high temperatures. Avoid wetting the foliage and keep the soil damp but not waterlogged. Pots with drainage holes are essential for avoiding this issue. Growing spinach indoors requires no particular care; simply water it on a regular basis and, of course, fertilise it to help the spinach grow quicker.
6. Fertilizing to Grow Spinach Indoors
Nitrogen-based fertilisers are the most effective for producing spinach. You can also use manure or a balanced liquid fertiliser. Fish emulsion, manure tea, or compost will also supply nutrients to your plant and boost growth. Remember to apply fertiliser after the spinach has sprouted, not when it is nearly fully developed. Even if you plant spinach in pots, you should mulch to help retain moisture and promote soil quality. However, excessive mulching might bury and smother the plant.
7. Pests and Diseases
You won’t have to worry about pests because you’ll be growing spinach indoors. Keep a watch out for leaf-eating insects like Aphids and Leaf Miners. You can avoid this problem by planting basil, chamomile, or dill alongside or between your spinach. These have been shown to repel pests and control the problem organically, eliminating the need for chemical sprays.
When the plant has at least 5 or 6 leaves that are 3 to 4 inches long, the spinach leaves are ready to harvest. Small spinach leaves can be harvested easily by cutting them at the stem with scissors. It’s preferable to start with the outer, older leaves and work your way into the plant’s centre. Allow the new inner leaves to grow so that they can be harvested later.
If the weather is excessively humid or hot, little yellow or green blossoms will appear on the plant quickly, so preserve cool growing conditions. The plant’s flowering and bolting thickens the leaf, and the flavour of spinach gets more bitter. So, for a superior flavour, pluck the spinach before it begins to blossom.
Spinach Utilization and Storage
Because spinach grows quickly, you’ll need to chop it frequently to keep it fresh. Young leaves can also be used in salads, and freshly collected spinach juice is quite refreshing. If you can’t use it right away, blanch it and freeze it. Remove the stalks from older and larger spinach leaves since they contain dangerous and toxic chemicals. This is especially crucial if you offer spinach to tiny children, as they are more susceptible to poisoning. Because spinach is high in nitrates, warming makes it dangerous by releasing lutein, which can cause poisoning. Don’t save the spinach for the next meal or reheat it; instead, toss the leftovers or eat them cold.
5 Health Benefits of Spinach
- Spinach provides over 15 vitamins and minerals that are essential for your health.
- It has a lot of antioxidants.
- It boosts the immune system and relieves constipation.
- Spinach contains more potassium than bananas and is high in vitamin A, making it beneficial to eye health.
- It is also high in calcium and magnesium, which lowers the chance of getting diabetes.