Month to Month Care for Spinach
Month of February Spinach – If you planted some spinach last fall to over-winter for harvest this spring, you will want to remove the mulch late this month or early in March. You can cover the plants with floating row covers, but that is optional.
Month of March Spinach – Spinach can be planted in the garden as soon as the soil can be worked; the earlier the better since it does not do well when the heat arrives in May or June.
There are spring and fall varieties of spinach. Spring varieties tend to be slower to bolt than fall varieties.
Put some slow release granular fertilizer in the soil as you prepare it for planting. Plant sufficient seed to get a good stand in a row or a 6 to 10 inch wide band and then thin plants to 3 to 6 inches apart when they become at least one inch tall.
Several successive plantings at 2- to 3-week intervals ensures continuous harvest of good quality spinach until summer kills the spinach season.
Month of April Spinach – Harvest spinach when the plants have 6 to 8 leaves. Harvest by pulling the whole plant or by removing the outer leaves as the plant grows. After harvesting, use it or place the spinach in a plastic bag in the refrigerator immediately. It should be good for 10 to 14 days.
Optional - A light fertilizer application when plants are approximately one-third grown produces high yields of good quality spinach.
Month of May Spinach – As the plants go to seed pull them to make space for something else in the summer garden.
Month of June
Month of July Spinach – Optional – You can plant spinach for fall harvest. Start some in late July and then several more successions at 2 to 3 week intervals into September. The seedlings will do better if covered with shade cloth or fleece during July and August.
Month of August
Month of September
Month of October Spinach – The over-wintering trick – You can plant spinach seeds in the ground now and in most cases they will sprout, then endure the winter, and finally appear in your garden ready to eat three or four weeks earlier than spinach you plant next spring. Cover the seedlings in November with 2 to 3 inch layer of straw, hay, or chopped leaves.
Month of November
Symptoms Probable Cause
Yellowish, curled leaves; stunted leaves and plants Blight
In moist areas, leaves develop yellow spots with fuzzy purplish growth beneath Downy Mildew, A Fungal Disease
Reddish tissue on stalks and leaves; yellowing of foliage Fusarium Wilt, A Fungal Disease
Leaves mottled yellow and green, raised dark areas; plant stunted Mosaic Virus
Orange or brown pustules on leaves Rust, A Fungal Disease
Late in season, older leaves yellow; affected vines die prematurely; stem tissue discolors from base; tubers may be pinkish. Verticillium Wilt, A Fungal Disease
Holes in leaves Cabbage Loopers
Tiny, black hopping insect, shot holes in foliage Flea Beetles
White butterflies; ragged holes in leaves, bit of green excrement on leaves Imported Cabbage Worms
Leaves curl, yellow or brown, brittle Leafhoppers
Tip of leaves brown, internal larvae trails visible. Leaf Miners
Plants stunted, yellow Nematodes
Leaves notched; roots chewed Root Weevils
Young seedling pulled and partly eaten Birds
Plant chewed to soil Deer
Plant chewed to soil Rabbits
Plant chewed to soil Squirrels
Plant chewed to soil Woodchucks