You wanted to grow your salad green, and you don’t have enough space? Thanks to the technology we have. You can easily grow spinach and other veggies at any time of year.
You can use LED grow panels to provide enough light and energy to your plants or you can also use a smart growing system for spinach plants. In this article, we will focus on growing spinach indoors for a whole year.
Follow these easy steps to grow spinach under lights:
1: Select A Container
You can start growing spinach using a medium-sized pot. A few varieties of spinach can produce huge leaves, so select a bigger pot for this kind of spinach. Always select a pot with a drainage hole.
You can also grow spinach in any kind of container you have, like buckets of paint. Clean the bucket and make few holes at the bottom of the bucket before adding soil.
Grow bags are great to grow spinach. They are cheap, easy to work with and environmentally friendly too. They come in a number of sizes and shapes. They can be biodegradable or non-degradable. I suggest you use non-degradable, so you can use them again and again.
Raised beds on legs are another great planters to grow spinach. You can grow a lot more spinach in these beds, more spinach than buckets and pots. These raised beds are also great for people with back pain. Because the legs make an ideal height to work with.
2: Smart Way To Grow Spinach Indoor
This idea of growing spinach is great for people, who have space and light problems in their homes. Using this idea, you can grow spinach, herbs and other salad greens.
These smart-systems comes with LED panel to provide supplement light and energy to your spinach. A few smart systems are hydroponic, it means you don’t even need soil to grow. You can grow your spinach in water. Here are a few smart garden systems you can buy on Amazon.
3: Soil Selection
Whether you are using pots, planters or grow bags, you cannot use the topsoil of the garden to grow spinach indoors or even outdoors. The topsoil of the garden cannot meet the requirements like nutrients and drainage for indoor plants.
Potting soil is the ultimate solution to this problem. Potting soil is specifically made to use in containers. Potting soil can provide enough nutrients to spinach for months. Don’t worry potting soil is not that costly if you buy in bulk.
4: Best Varieties Of Spinach
First of all, you need to choose a variety which is popular in your area. That variety can serve you better. Varieties that work better in cold climate area, are not gonna work for hot climate areas. Here are a few varieties you can try:
A: PALCO SPINACH
Palco spinach has thick, crinkled and dark green leaves. This kind of spinach is known as savoy spinach. The leaves are rich in fiber and can be used raw or cooked in the salad. The growth time is just 27 days.
B: BLOOMSDALE SPINACH
This one is also a savoy kind of spinach. You can grow and harvest this spinach in 45 days. This one is best for cold temperatures. You can use this kind in salad as raw or slightly cooked.
C: CARMEL SPINACH
This kind is semi-savoy spinach. Means, the leaves of this kind are less crinkled. This spinach is very fast-growing, you can harvest the leaves in just 25 days.
D: CROCODILE SPINACH
This one is also a semi-savoy type. Best for hot climate regions because of its tolerance to heat. The baby leaves of this spinach are great for salad and can be harvested in 30 days. But adult leaves can take up to 56 days.
E: CORVAIR SPINACH
This one has straight and smooth leaves. The leaves have no crinkled. Very easy to grow and has a fast growth time of just 27 days.
Here is the chart of most popular varieties of spinach categories as savoy, semi-savoy and smooth:
5: How To Plant Spinach Seeds Indoor
This is the biggest benefit of growing indoors. You don’t have to worry about the time, frost and so many things. You can start growing spinach today using grow lights.
After the selection of container, variety, and soil of your choice, it’s time to sow the seeds. You don’t have to sow the seeds in seed starter. Sow them directly in the soil of the container or grow bag.
Gently sprinkle the seeds on soil, push them a little with your finger. Spinach seeds don’t like too much soil on them. You can also use a seed starter if you want.
The best temperature for germination is 15-27° C. Few varieties can survive the lowest temperature of 6°C and the highest of 32°C. In 5-9 days the seeds will germinate.
6: Spacing Between Plants
Each plant of spinach needs at least 3 inches of space. If your variety produces big leaves, 5 inches space between plants is great. If you like baby spinach leaves and want to harvest at an early stage, 2 inches space can do the trick.
Also Read: Best Vegetables To Grow Indoors Under Lights
7: How To Use Grow Light For Spinach
If you already have some kind of grow light, that’s great, if not, I suggest you buy LED grow light. Here is my guide for LED grow light.
At the stage of seeds and seedlings, spinach will require 14-15 hours of grow light. You can reduce the hours of grow light, 8-10 hours for adult plants of spinach.
Keep the distance of 6 inches between light source and plant at any stage. Less than 6 inches can burn the leaves of plants.
8: Watering Care
Watering depends on different factors like the area where you live, weather, temperature and variety of plants. There is no 100 accurate guide of watering out there. You have to keep an eye on your plants.
Some varieties of spinach need more water and some less, in the hot climate plants, need more water as compare to cold climate. The way to measure the need for water is to use your finger. Stick your finger in the soil about 2-3 inches, if it feels dry, water your plants.
Do not overwater indoor plants. Standing water can cause a series of problems like fungal diseases and rot. Do not wet the foliage of plants, it can also cause fungal infection. Water the soil in the container, not the plants.
Here are a few smart garden systems you can buy on Amazon.
Potting soil can provide your plant’s nutrients only for some time. When plants become adults, you have to fertilize them. You can simply use all-purpose plant food (liquid). Once or twice a week can do the trick.
You can also provide nutrients by using compost or organic manure. All-purpose plant food can provide nutrients way faster than compost. You can also promote the growth of spinach plants by using fish emulsion or manure tea.
Mulching is not very necessary for indoor plants. But still, it is a good activity for the growth of plants. Use organic mulch, as organic mulch adds nutrients in the soil.
Pests are not a very big problem for indoor gardeners. This is the biggest benefit of indoor gardening. Few leaf-eating pests like slugs, caterpillars, and aphids can attack your plants.
You can easily remove them from plants by hands or a cold shower to your plants or neem oil spray can remove them. You can also use an organic pesticide to kill these pests.
Pruning is a good thing to do if your plants are very close to each other. So keep harvesting your leaves before they produce small yellow & green flowers. Production of these flowers is the indication bolting, means leaves will taste more bitter.
Harvesting totally depends on the variety you are growing. As I mentioned in the chart above, different varieties have different growth times. Average, you can harvest the leaves in just 25 to 45 days. You can also harvest early if you want baby leaves for your salad.
Always harvest the outer leaves of plants, so the inner smaller leaves can grow and become the next harvest for your family. You can also cut the entire plant leave the base about 3 inches. So the base can grow new leaves.
You can store spinach in the refrigerator for the whole year. But you don’t have to do that. You can easily grow fresh spinach using LED grow lights.
Every time you need spinach in your salad or any dish, cut a few leaves and leaves the plant for further growth. Fresh spinach is always better than frozen spinach.