Spinach is also reported to reduce the risk of skin cancer. Researchers at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research found that eating spinach and silverbeet showed a significant reduction in the risk of skin cancer particularly if you have a previous history of the disease. Us Aussies probably should be consuming spinach every week with the amount of sunshine we are blessed with.
Save Spinach for the cooler months of the year because when its warm it tends to bolt (ie. produces seed heads) and not meany good leaves. If you live in a warmer area, you may be better off planting Silverbeet rather than spinach. Being a leafy green spinach loves a nitrogen rich soil so adding manure to your soil before planting is going to help things along. Then every few weeks water with Nitrosol and you will have some of the healthiest, fast growing spinach ever.
Purchase Nitrosol at the Aussie Gardener Store
Nitrosol Liquid Blood & Bone Concentrate is the ideal fertiliser for all garden and indoor plants. Nitrosol has been a favourite of Australian gardeners for over 40 years. Its unique formulation provides the benefits of blood and bone and natural growth stimulants in a easy to use liquid form. Nitrosol provides an effective balance of major and minor nutrients that can be absorbed through both the plants leaves and roots. Nitrosol enhances soil fertility by encouraging beneficial soil microorganisms. Suitable for all indoor and outdoor plants.
How to use:
Nitrosol is highly concentrated. Add 40 mL to a watering can (9-10 litres of water) and stir well. For best results apply to the foliage as well as the soil. Repeat every two weeks during the growing season. See label for details.
In the super markets you will often see baby spinach being sold. Usually this is just small spinach leaves that haven’t developed into the larger leaves. The trick is to keep picking leaves almost every day and it will keep producing more. On the farms that produce baby spinach it is grown in the field and a harvesting machine with a saw blade cuts them off a few millimetres above the soil.
Pick the outside leaves every few days to get ‘baby spinach’
Using a fertiliser like Harvest will also encourage the plant to grow more compactly we have found.
Spinach has a central tap root so you need to dig the bed over nice and deep (30cm or more) so that it can send that long root down to feed the leaves and also keep them healthy and upright. You want them to grow quite fast as that produces the best tasting leaves. If yours are tasting bitter is usually because they were growing too slow.
There are a few different varieties and they vary in their leaf shape. The taste and nutrition is going to be pretty similar so as long as you have one of them planted you will be fine. The baby leaf spinach you buy in plastic bags at Woolies is usually a Medania variety.
You may be more familiar with Silverbeet which is often substituted for spinach because it can be grown in the warmer months.
If you are going to be picking leaves frequently you can space the plants quite close at around 10cm apart. If you don’t pick frequently the plants will get to be about 40cm wide so you would space them at 25cm apart. If you have chooks, they LOVE eating spinach so keep feeding the leaves to them especially if you end up having too much.
Just a word of warning, if you let your chickens graze in your veggie patch, cover the spinach or there will be nothing left.
When growing from seed, use a propagator to give them a TLC start. The seeds should be planted about 8mm deep and take about 2 weeks to germinate. A little tip to speed this up is to soak the seeds in water overnight.Once they are about 5cm tall you can transplant them to your prepared beds and plant in rows 40cm apart (less if you are picking small leaves frequently). Keep the water up to them so that you have nice fresh leaves to harvest.
Purchase this propagator at the Aussie Gardener Store
The cheapest way to grow your own veggies is from seed, but sometimes it can be a bit tricky caring for the newly sprouting seeds when outside. That's where this mini hot house does all the caring for your 36 seeds that are sprouting.
NEW DESIGN - we've redesigned our Aussie Gardener Propagator to now come with 36 cells (6 trays with 6 cells each) instead of our old 72 cell tray. The cells are bigger so won't dry out as quickly and your seedlings can grow a bit bigger so they'll be really strong and healthy when they're ready to be transplanted into your garden. You've also got a lot more flexibility with the separate trays, sow all of them at once or choose how many you want to sow at a time.
There are 6x6 cell trays making a total of 36 cells to sow your seeds in
A low cost way to successfully sprout seeds ready to transplant into the veggie patch
Has opening air vents to control the humidity and keep the plants happy
Note from Brian: The box they come in is quite large so please consider purchasing some other items to fill the space inside so we aren't paying to ship air :-)
Frequently Asked Questions about the Aussie Gardener Propagator
They are ideal to grow in large pots that you can keep near the kitchen door. A partly shaded spot and they will do fine. The Black Geotech Felt Planters we have at the Aussie Gardener Store would be perfect for this.
You could plant about 12 spinach plants in that size planter.
Purchase these Black Geotech Felt Planters at the Aussie Gardener Store
Snails and Slugs like to have a feed on them. Don’t use snail baits as this ends up poisoning other animals like lizards who eat the slug and snails. Better to use a Beer Trap as it turns out slugs love beer so much that they drink themselves silly and drown very happy.
If you want to grow these stress free, then protect them with the Pestfree Mini. That way the slugs, snails, caterpillars and chooks cant get to them and you end up with pristine looking leaves. Spinach don’t need any pollinators like bees and birds since they arent producing a fruit.
If you notice your spinach leaves are looking a bit yellow, it will usually mean they need more nitrogen. Feed them a does of Nitrosol and within a few days you should notice the difference.
It’s an easy one to grow with a little care and a 1m2 bed grows quite a lot of spinach. For our household of 4 that eats quite a bit of it in smoothies and cooking, we usually have a 2 x 1m bed dedicated to spinach during the cooler months. As well as another bed with Silverbeet just for the chooks. They need their vitamins too!
Now, what to do with all that lovely spinach?
Use it in the kitchen with these delights.
THE NEW GREEN SMOOTHIE
EGG AND SPINACH PIDE
Geofelt Planter Bags
Easy to move about and built really tough to last for several years of use, now everyone can have a go at growing veggies.
We have put together 24 of the best growing varieties of vegetables in one easy kit. Nothing Genetically modified. All good solid varieties that have been growing in australia for the last 20 or more years. Enough for a full year of veggie growing (and more)
The complete guide for when to plant your veggies and how long they will take to harvest. Covers all of Australia and is very easy to follow. Covers seed depth, row spacing, frost sensitivity, harvest timeframe, crop rotation and planning out your beds.