Botanical Name: Spinacia oleracea
Days to Maturity: 28–45 days
Family: Organic, Heirloom
Hardiness: Southwest Asia
Plant Dimensions: 6″–8″ tall
Variety Information: Very dark green, thick, curled leaves. ‘Bloomsdale’ was introduced in the early 1800s. It is a vigorous grower, slow to bolt, and has tender, rich-flavored leaves.
Attributes: Good for Containers
When to Sow Outside: RECOMMENDED. 4 to 6 weeks before your average last frost date, and when soil temperature is above 40ºF; ideally 50°–75°F. Successive Sowings: Every 3 weeks until 4 weeks before your average first fall frost date. If mulched, spinach can overwinter in sub–zero temperatures. Soil temperatures above 85ºF halt germination.
When to Start Inside: Not recommended; roots sensitive to disturbance.
Days to Emerge: 5–10 days
Seed Depth: ½”
Seed Spacing: A group of 3 seeds every 6″
Row Spacing: 12″
Thinning: When 2″ tall, thin to 1 every 6″
Harvesting: Pick individual leaves from outer edges of plant as they become big enough to use or cut the whole plant 1″ above the ground; new leaves will be produced. When picking individual leaves, also removing the leaf stem at the same time is best; this reduces vulnerability to disease during die-back and conserves plant energy. Harvest before the plant sends up a flower stalk (bolting). Just prior to bolting, leaves take on an “arrowhead” shape, adding small keel shapes to the base of the leaf.