My favorite leaves: How to grow baby spinach
As you might know by now, I really love growing leafy greens. Spinach is one of my favorites, especially baby spinach.
I recently got a question about leafy greens which I'm of course more than happy to write about. These tiny little leafy greens are of course especially popular and a staple in many households. After all, all you need to do is open up a bag and grab a handful whenever you want to. No wonder people like them so much.
What exactly is baby spinach and can you grow it at home?
Good question! Put simply, baby spinach is actually just regular spinach leaves, albeit small ones. There are a few different varieties out there that are supposed to be optimal when you want baby leaves. But my experience is that most varieties actually work.
Spinach is a relatively low-growing plant with leaves attached to tender little stalks. The stalks can grow around 4 inches tall (1 decimeter) in spring and the leaves can grow to around 8 inches (2 decimeters). The spinach bolts in spring when it gets warmer, and it develops a long flower stalk in the middle of the plant. No more leaves will grow after this happens.
The leaves are small and tender before this happens though. And you can harvest them in any size that fits you best. From tiny to large. The smallest leaves are called baby spinach when we get them in the store.
Read more: Growing pea shoots indoors
How to grow baby spinach
- Scatter seeds in a little box, pot or trough and cover with soil.
- Water the soil.
- Put the spinach in a greenhouse, on the window sill or outdoors.
- You might need a grow light in late fall or winter.
- You can cut the leaves when they have grown to around 4 inches (1 decimeter).
- The leaves will grow again, and you can harvest them once more.
More about spinach: My homemade spinach pesto
Other small leaves
You can grow plenty of other leafy greens this way. I like mixing a lot of seeds when I sow, to basically get a ready salad in my pot. You might want to find varieties that take around the same time to grow. These vegetables go well together:
- spinach, lettuce, arugula
- chard, beet, kale
- lettuce, lamb's lettuce and purple kale
It's so fun to get creative with these mixes. Why not make a batch of only red leafy greens? Packed with antioxidants and it looks really lovely on the plate too. Here are a few red leafy greens you might want to try:
- Rubra, red orache
- Bull's Blood, beet
- Scarlet, purple kale
- Red salad bowl, lettuce
All of these red varieties are part of my own seed collection in collaboration with Nelson Garden, called Sow all year round.
So, get your seed packets and start sowing your own favorite leaves! You might as well grow baby spinach instead of getting it from the store after all.
You can grow these leaves basically wherever you live. For example in a pallet collar bed, in pots or troughs outside or on your balcony. Sow now and start harvesting in a few weeks. Good luck!
Hi I have a question about growing spinach. How many times can you harvest from the plant? What happens if you don't harvest some leaves? Is it detrimental to the plant? And is there a right way to harvest to ensure the plant continues to thrive?
The best way if you want to harvest for a long period of time, is to harvest leaf by leaf. Usually I cut down the spinach two or three times, then it will get quit thick stalks that are not very tasty.
It's my first time trying so please help me with the following questions:
1. If I want to grow baby spinach, how deep should the pot be?
2. How many inches of soil in the pot and after I placed the seed, how many inches above to cover the seeds?
3. How much seed to scatter? Like each seed should be how many cm/inches apart from each other?
4. Any guide as to proportion of water to be used to water them as i don't know what is too much or too little?
5. How often should I water the seeds/plants?
6. How many hours of sun should it be exposed to? I was told that if too hot, or direct sunlight for too long, may not be good.
Is it fine to grow spinach fr styrofoam box?
Will spinach grows well ?
Yes I think so. Give it a try! 🙂 All the best!
Please do you make lettuce seeds.?. I have already ordered some spinach seeds awaiting delivery
I do not sell any seeds at abroad at the moment unfortunately. Perhaps you can order lettuce seeds locally? All the best!
PS Note: Hi Sarah, found your your website today and finding your Blog interesting. You obviously have lots of experience. I'm well versed on Natural Health and glean what gardening Info that is Good when time permits and hope to gain some of my confidence back from younger days as a 'NEWY' to gardening efforts, raising seedlings from seeds - I'm trusting some of your confidence will wear off on me from pages on your website relating to such.
Hopefully my Comment on Styrofoam Boxes is OK with you - I'm a 'slow typist' but like to be helpful. Will be sure to pass your website on!
Hi! Thank you so much for your comment! Take care!?