How to grow spinach
A guide on how to grow and harvest spinach, plus three great recipes for using it in your kitchen.
A fast-growing relative of beetroots that requires minimal effort, this versatile green can be eaten in salads, curries, stews and smoothies.
Easy to grow in a raised bed, it can be sown in spring for a summer crop, or in autumn for winter – some varieties have seasonal preferences, while others can be sown at any time. Make shallow trenches, 1cm deep and 30cm apart, and sow every 2.5cm. Cover and water regularly. When 2cm tall, thin to leave plants every 25cm. Add a nitrogen feed every fortnight.
Pick leaves as required or cut off the whole plant, 2cm above the ground.
What to look for when you buy
Spinach is best bought fresh and stored in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. However, if you’re using it in smoothies you may be able to use frozen spinach instead. There are two types of spinach; baby leaf – the more delicate variety that’s picked in the earlier stage of growth – and regular spinach, which has bigger leaves.
How to eat it
Spinach is the most versatile of greens and it only takes minutes to cook. It works just as well in a green smoothie or simple salad as it does in a spicy curry or hearty stew. Serve creamed spinach as a side dish for meat, or for a healthier option you can steam it until wilted. You can even add spinach to savoury muffins or flavoured breads.
Here are three of our favourite spinach recipes…