Crop Name: Spinach

Scientific Name: Spinacia oleracea

Family Name: Amaranthaceae

Cultivar Groups: Flamingo, Red Kitten, Carmel, Seaside, Corvair, Red Kitten

Warm season or cool season:  Cool Season


Space between plants/between rows: 10 seeds/ft, ½ inch deep, rows 12-18” apart

Fertility Requirements: Early spring spinach may require larger quantities of fertilizer than fall crops. Commercial growers — per acre requirements on sands and sandy loams are 85 to 120 lb N, 75 to 85 lb P2O5, and 85 to 150 lb K2O. On heavier clay soils, 50 lb/acre of each nutrient should be adequate.

Watering Needs: Spinach grows most quickly in well-drained soil rich in organic matter. Water regularly.

Number of days from seed to transplant and/or seed to harvest:

  • Ready for harvest at about 37 days
  • For full size there are 2 options

-Rooted spinach- make cuttings just below root attachment

-Clipped spinach- cut slightly higher

Planting Instructions:

  • Direct Seeding
  • Germinate best in cool soil, so sow in early spring
  • Sow in mid to late summer for fall harvest
  • Over winter growing requires low covering
  • 10 seeds/ft, ½ inch deep, rows 12-18” apart


Potential Pests: seed corn maggot

  • Aphids; most common
  • Cutworms; cut seedlings off at ground level
  • Flea beetles; feed on young leaves
  • Slugs and snails; leave holes in the leaves
  • Leaf miners, feed from the inside out leaving tan trails, remove these leaves immediately to stop spreading of larvae to the rest of the plant

Insect Pests Controls:

  • Pre-emergent and post-emergent pesticides can be used to control weeds in spinach crops, but it is critical to plant the crop in fields where weeds have been properly managed.  Pesticide options are limited and expensive.

Plant Pathogens:

  • Damping off; causes seedlings to fall over and die as soon as the sprout.

– to avoid use good quality seeds and avoid over watering

  • Downy mildew; cause yellow or green spots on upper surface of leaves and white fungus on bottom surface

– to avoid sow seeds recommended distance apart and water soil to avoid getting the

leaves wet


When Ready to Harvest:

  • Ready for harvest at about 37 days
  • For full size there are 2 options

-Rooted spinach- make cuttings just below root attachment

-Clipped spinach- cut slightly higher

  • For baby leaves clip at about 3-5 weeks

Best Method to Cool Crop:

  • Wash and store in bag in refrigerator

Optimal Storage Temperature and Relative Humidity:  4 °C, 83 % RH

Possible Storage Life: Storage life is about 10 to 14 days.

Common Post-Harvest Losses/Problems:

  • Baby spinach. Immature or ‘baby-leaf’ products such as baby spinach are extremely perishable, having a high rate of respiration and little resistance to water loss. Harvesting should occur when the crop is fully hydrated, cool and dry.

Average Yields: 8 to 10 tons per acre

Yield Data:

Year Crop Variety Date Planted Date Harvested Days to Harvest Total Yield (lbs) Yield (lbs/sq. ft)
2017 Spinach Flamingo 11/14/2016 1/5/2017-4/18/2017 30 8.57 0.1714
2017 Spinach Seaside N/A 1/5/2017-4/20/17 30 17.19 0.3438


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