Bunnings
Project listShopping cart

Sign in to your account

Project list

Sign in to your account

Spinach seedlings growing the soil
Grow your own baby spinach leaves – they’re nature’s superfood, rich in iron, vitamins and fibre. A cool-season crop, sow in autumn and you’ll have leaves throughout autumn, winter and early spring.

 

What you need to know about spinach

Name: spinach, English spinach, common spinach (Spinacia oleracea).

Height: 30cm, but varies depending on variety.

Foliage: annual.

Climate: best in cold climates, but can be grown in all climates depending on variety and time of year. 

Soil: prefers a free-draining soil enriched with compost and decomposed manure.

Position: full sun during the cooler months, or part shade in warmer weather.

Flowering and fruiting: remove flowers to keep plants from running to seed.

Feeding: apply regular applications of seaweed solution during the growing season.

Watering: water regularly, especially during dry or hot weather.

Appearance and characteristics of spinach

The term spinach usually refers to the traditional cool-climate English spinach (Spinacia oleracea), which is usually grown during autumn and winter. However, it has also become a general term for many different greens, including warm-season crops such as Chinese spinach (Amaranthus sp) and French spinach (Atriplex hortensis), both of which are related to English spinach, as well as New Zealand spinach (Tetragonia sp), Egyptian spinach (Corchorus sp) and Indian, Malabar or Ceylon spinach (Basella sp). All varieties produce leafy green growth that can be eaten fresh, steamed or cooked, or added fresh to smoothies.

Washed spinach leaves 

How to plant and grow spinach

English spinach grows best during the cooler seasons, as it is slower to bolt (run to seed) and is not subjected to any heat stress.

The soil should not be waterlogged but should not dry out too quickly.

  1. Improve soil prior to planting with compost and decomposed manure.
  2. Create a channel in the soil only 2cm deep, and sow seed every 5cm. Don’t worry if you sow a few extra seeds; plants can be thinned after germination, and either transplanted or used as a microgreen.
  3. Cover the seed and water well.
  4. Apply snail and slug pellets to prevent your germinating seeds from becoming a snail’s late-night snack.
  5. Mulch with sugar-cane mulch or pea straw when plants are around 3–5cm tall.
  6. Water regularly if weather is unseasonably dry. 

How to harvest spinach

Spinach is an easy to grow crop that tastes best when grown quickly during the cooler months.

  1. Harvest leaves regularly, taking a few from each plant rather than harvesting one plant at a time – this will help to extend your season.
  2. Pick young leaves regularly, and cook only lightly in order to retain as many nutrients as possible. 

How to care for spinach

Water regularly during seed germination and during hot or dry weather. Apply a seaweed solution fortnightly to maintain optimal plant health and vigour.

Diseases and pests affecting spinach

Humans aren’t the only ones who find spinach delicious – snails and slugs are a problem throughout the entire growing cycle of spinach. Lay pet-friendly snail pellets or traps to minimise damage.

How to propagate spinach

  1. Propagate by seed by letting one plant flower at the end of the growing season. 
  2. Wait until the flowers have finished and seeds have formed in their place.
  3. Cut the flower spikes off at the base and hang them upside-down to dry. You may like to hang them over a bucket or inside a paper bag to avoid losing any precious seed. 
  4. Once completely dry, run your hand down the stalk, inside the bucket or bag, to capture all the seed. 
  5. Using a sieve or colander, separate the seed from the dry foliage. 
  6. Place the seed in an envelope carefully labelled with the variety and the date collected. 
  7. Place in a dry cupboard or drawer, ready for sowing next year.

Safety tip

After applying fertiliser, delay harvesting for a few days and rinse well before cooking and eating. If using products to deal with pests, diseases or weeds, always read the label, follow the instructions carefully and wear suitable protective equipment. Store all garden chemicals out of the reach of children and pets.

If you like this then try

Peas: another cool-season crop that’s easy to grow with an abundant harvest.

Brussels sprouts: love them or hate them, they are a star of the winter garden.

Broccoli: a wonderful and nutritious cool-season crop that’s packed with antioxidants. 

Start planting today

Check out our huge range of plants now and get your garden growing.

 

Suggested products

More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.