Spinach – Grow Guide

How to grow spinach

Find out how to grow your own spinach for leafy, healthy pickings, in this practical Grow Guide.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sow
Sow

Do not Sow in January

Do Sow in February

Do Sow in March

Do Sow in April

Do Sow in May

Do Sow in June

Do not Sow in July

Do not Sow in August

Do Sow in September

Do Sow in October

Do not Sow in November

Do not Sow in December

Harvest
Harvest

Do not Harvest in January

Do not Harvest in February

Do Harvest in March

Do Harvest in April

Do Harvest in May

Do Harvest in June

Do not Harvest in July

Do not Harvest in August

Do Harvest in September

Do Harvest in October

Do Harvest in November

Do Harvest in December

  • Average Yield

    6kg per 3m row

  • Spacing

    15cm apart

Spinach is high in nutrients and is fast and easy to grow as a cut-and-come again ‘baby-leaf’ vegetable or for larger leaves.

It can be grown all year round if you choose the right varieties and works well in containers too. It’s tasty cooked, just wilted in the pan, or as young fresh leaves in a salad.

Spinach is high in nutrients and is fast and easy to grow as a cut-and-come again ‘baby-leaf’ vegetable or for larger leaves.

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It can be grown all year round if you choose the right varieties and works well in containers too. It’s tasty cooked, just wilted in the pan, or as young fresh leaves in a salad.

Follow the advice in this guide to grow your own spinach.

Spinach is best eaten fresh when it's highest in nutrients.

Sowing spinach in a seed drill
Sowing spinach in a seed drill

Sowing spinach seeds

Make sure you pick a site that’s sunny but sheltered when growing spinach. Add plenty of bulky organic matter to the soil to create the best growing conditions and add to the flavour of your spinach leaves.

Make a shallow drill in well-prepared, fertile soil in a sunny spot and sow your spinach seeds thinly, approximately 1.5cm deep. Cover seeds with soil and water well. Sow in rows 40cm apart. Cover with cloches or protection if the weather is still cool. Sow a batch every 3-4 weeks for a regular supply through the growing season.

Find out how to sow spinach seeds and other members of the beet family.

Watering young spinach plants
Watering young spinach plants

Tending spinach

Spinach thrives in fertile soil that doesn’t easily dry out. If you’ve a very hot dry garden, you can set up temporary shade for your spinach crop to stop it bolting.

After thinning your sowings to 15cm apart, the most important thing is to keep your spinach well watered. For sowings later in the year, protect your spinach seedlings with fleece or a cloche for a supply through the winter months.

Picking spinach leaves
Picking spinach leaves

Harvesting spinach

Spinach is ready to harvest 6-10 weeks after sowing. As a general rule, you can pick summer varieties from May to October and winter ones between October and April. But keep an eye on your crop as spinach usually grows quicker in warmer weather. Cut the leaves with a sharp knife to encourage new growth.

Storing spinach

Spinach is best eaten fresh when it’s highest in nutrients. But it can be frozen for later use in soups and omelettes.

See some of the tasty recipes using spinach, from our friends at Olive Magazine.

Thinning out spinach
Thinning out spinach

Spinach: problem solving

Protect young spinach seedlings from slugs, snails and birds. Spinach is also prone to downy mildew, which is worse in humid weather. Mildew-resistant varieties are available, but the best method of prevention is good spacing around plants to help the air to circulate, and to target your watering at the base of the plants.

Check out these tips on stopping slugs from eating young plants.

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Organic tip

Spinach is a good crop to grow in between beans, peas or sweetcorn if you only have a small growing space. But it’s important to move your spinach crops around your vegetable plot as the spores of downy mildew can remain in the soil and will re-infect your crop.

Gardening gloves. Photo: Getty Images.
Spinach 'Medania'
Spinach ‘Medania’

Spinach varieties to try

  • ‘Medania’ RHS AGM – a good, healthy spinach variety, producing lots of dark green leaves with a soft texture and good flavour whether eaten as a baby leaf or mature crop
  • ‘Perpetual’ – a good variety that doesn’t bolt easily and will grow on drier soils. Good for summer, autumn and winter crops
  • ‘Apollo’ – this variety gives a good yield with leaves that taste good either as a baby leaf crop or when mature. Good bolt-resistance and good in containers
  • ‘Palco’ RHS AGM – a mildew-resistant variety that’s slow to bolt
  • ‘Atlanta’ RHS AGM – a hardy, winter variety that produces a good crop of leaves

Spinach is high in nutrients and is fast and easy to grow as a cut-and-come again ‘baby-leaf’ vegetable or for larger leaves.

It can be grown all year round if you choose the right varieties and works well in containers too. It’s tasty cooked, just wilted in the pan, or as young fresh leaves in a salad.

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