It’s that time of year again, praise the Lord! Vegetable garden time! While many people may think that vegetable gardening starts in May, it is important to work with what you’ve got and because I have a very shady spot of patio to work with I like to focus a good bit of my attention of slightly cooler weather crops during spring. Right at the end of March I went ahead and planted three containers worth of spinach and three big buckets of garlic. This is my first year of planting garlic so I’m not sure how it is going to work out yet, but this was my second year of planting spinach so I made a few adjustments this year. Here they are. (To read about last year’s spinach crop click here)
Tips for Planting Spinach:
- Wait to plant the seeds until it is warm but still rainy and springy. Last year I planted my spinach in February and it was too cold for it to germinate so I waited and waited and waited for almost two months before anything came up out of the ground. This time, I waited until the days were going to be in the 60s and 70s and the nights were still cool.
- Start seeds in a paper towel: Last year I just put the seeds directly in the dirt and they did come up just fine, but because I waited longer this year I decided to give them a head start indoors. I put all of the seeds in a wet paper towel and stored it in a Ziploc bag for about three days. When roots started to peek out, then they went in the dirt.
- Compost! Ok this isn’t really new because I used compost last year, but it came from a bag. This year I used my own compost! How cool is that? Spinach needs a lot of organic material in the soil so I usually do about ½ compost and ½ potting soil.
With these couple of adjustments I saw spinach sprouts poking out of the ground in three days! That is quite speedy compared to last year. Now it’s just a matter of watching them grow and enjoying the result!