You might be surprised to learn, baby spinach is actually just regular spinach leaves, albeit small ones. Some varieties of spinach are more optimal when you want baby leaves. But most varieties will work.
Once you taste your home-grown baby spinach, you’ll never go back store bought. Freshly grown baby spinach from the garden has a sweeter, nuttier flavour and a crunchier texture.
It’s easy to grow and you can harvest the leaves as you need them leading to less waste. Your plants will keep producing leaves for several weeks and by succession planting you can have a continual supply of fresh baby spinach at home.
If you have ever wondered how to grow baby spinach in Australia then look no further. Baby spinach is a simple herb to grow, but there are still a few tricks to successfully growing baby spinach in Australia. Get these right and you will be laughing.
When to plant baby spinach:
The best time to plant spinach is between March to August, however you can grow all year round with the right care.
Where does baby spinach grow best?
Baby spinach tastes best when grown quickly during the cooler months. At this time of year it can be grown in full to part sun. In other times of year it can be best to grow in pots so that you can keep the temperature it is exposed to a bit cooler by moving into shady parts of your backyard.
How much water does baby spinach need?
On average baby spinach needs around 1 to 1 1/2 inches of water per week. It’s better to water several times a week rather than deep watering.
Is baby spinach a perennial?
Baby spinach is an annual crop. Each plant grows for a single season. This means that new plants need to be planted from seed at the beginning of the growing season.
Types of spinach in Australia:
There are a number of different spinach varieties in Australia.
- Medania spinach: This spinach variety has thick round leaves and a heavy cropper. Plant autumn and winter.
- Viking spinach: This variety has dark green leaves, quick maturing with a superb taste. Plant late summer to winter.
- Hector spinach: This variety is high yielding with resistance to bolting and tolerance to mildew. Plant autumn and winter.
- Lazio spinach: This variety has rounded, dark, smooth leaves. Plant autumn and winter.
- Viroflay spinach: This variety is a French heirloom variety with smooth dark leaves. Plant autumn and winter.
- Giant noble spinach: This variety has smooth and thick dark green leaves.
How to grow baby spinach from seed:
Growing baby spinach from seeds is easy, fun and rewarding! Baby spinach seeds are easy to find with the above varieties easily found in Australia in seed format.
Sow your spinach seeds directly into a well-prepared level planting bed. For ‘baby leaf spinach’ production, sow seed 1 to 2cm deep in rows 10cm apart to achieve a final stand of about 40 plants per metre of row.
How to grow baby spinach in pots:
Growing baby spinach in pots is an excellent idea. It allows you to move your spinach plants around for optimal conditions.
- Choose a pot at least 30cm wide and deep and position in a sunny or part shade. Fill with quality potting mix.
- Sow seeds direct, planting them in clumps of 2-3 seeds. Cover lightly with a quality seed raising mix and water well.
- Water regularly around 2 – 3 times a week. Once seedlings emerge, thin seedlings and feed weekly with a liquid plant food designed for herbs and vegetables.
- Harvest by snipping off the spinach leaves at soil level with scissors – this will help encourage leaf growth. Sow successive crops every 3-4 weeks to extend your harvest window.
What’s the best fertiliser for baby spinach?
Once your spinach plants are established, you can use a balanced fertiliser. I recommend a something like Yates Thrive Vegie & Herb Liquid Plant Food.
When to harvest baby spinach:
Baby spinach leaves will be ready to harvest in around 20-30 days after sowing the seeds. Baby spinach leaves should be round and oval in shape and very tender and delicious to eat.
How to store baby spinach:
Baby spinach requires a bit of love and care for storing in the fridge but I always recommend eating fresh if you can.
- Lightly wash your baby spinach in cool water.
- Gently wrap fresh spinach in a paper towel to absorb excess water. .
- Place the paper towel-wrapped baby spinach in a plastic storage container.
- Store the spinach in the crisper drawer of your fridge. It should stay fresh for about 10 days but the quicker you consume the better it will taste.
Baby spinach plant care and common problems:
If your spinach seeds fail to germinate it was either too wet, too warm, or the seeds were old, and no longer viable. Always plant fresh spinach seeds.
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