growing-spinach-in-containers

Planting a Container Garden of Nutritious Spinach

Growing and eating spinach is a great way of adding a bundle of important vitamins and minerals to your diet. Spinach germinates and matures quickly, and the plants are small, making this nutritious leafy green a perfect crop for growing in a gardening container. Spinach does not like hot weather, so start your seeds or transplant seedlings in the cool temperatures of spring and fall.

Reasons for Growing a Container Garden of Spinach

Spinach is packed with essential nutrients including:

  • Fiber
  • Vitamin A,C, and K
  • Folate
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Important trace minerals like zinc, copper, and manganese

Fresh spinach, harvested right out of your own garden, is also especially tasty, and you can eat it raw in salads, add it to soups and stews, or stir-fry it with other vegetables and your favorite meat.

There are several reasons you may want or need to grow spinach in a container instead of planting it in the ground.

  • You can move the container to a warmer or cooler spot, if temperatures change.
  • It is faster and easier to set-up a container than preparing a garden bed.
  • You may not have access to an in-the-ground garden site for growing spinach.

Whatever your reason, spinach seeds sprout and grow in a temperature range of 40º to 75º (4.4º to 24ºC) when planted in containers or in the ground.

Setting-up a Container for Growing Spinach

You can grow two or three spinach plants in a one gallon (3.7 liter) pot, or, you can choose a larger container of just about any size. The important points for container growing are:

  • Be sure the container has drainage holes in the bottom.
  • Place a water-catchment tray under the container, unless the container is set outside on the ground.
  • Fill the container with a good-quality potting mix or a mixture of garden soil and compost to give the plants plenty of nutrients as they grow.

Starting about three weeks after the spinach seedlings are up and growing, fertilize the plants weekly with a dilution of fish emulsion or compost tea to keep them lush and green.

Caring for Spinach in Containers

Spinach grows well in full-sun or partial shade, but make sure the plants get at least six hours of direct light each day.

Water the spinach seeds or transplants immediately after you plant them, and then keep the soil moist but not overly wet while the plants grow.

You can start picking individual leaves as soon as they are about 3 inches (7.6cm) tall, but harvest before plants mature and bolt, which begins after about 60 days of growing or when temperatures reach over approximately 75ºF (24ºC).

Once harvested, keep spinach leaves in the refrigerator and wash just before using them.