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Spinach

Growing Spinach in South Australia

Introducing Spinach

This leafy green crop is quick and easy to grow. It’s a cool weather crop, so it only grows during the coldest parts of the year in the warm, South Australian climate.

Classic Mistakes

Don’t plant your spinach too late. As soon as the weather warms up, it’ll bolt to seed, Spinach has a short growing season in South Australia.

Sunlight

Grow in: Partial Sun - Full Sun

Soil Preparation

Spinach likes rich soil. Work plenty of compost and well-rotted manure into your soil before planting. Spinach doesn’t like acidic soil. Add some lime, crushed egg shells or ash to your soil if you think it may be too acidic. (A simple test from your local garden center can be used to find the ph. of your soil.)

Sowing Seed

Sow seed: March-May
Sowing depth: Twice the height of the seed

Sprinkle your seeds over the soil and cover with a layer of compost or soil. The seeds can take more than 10 days to germinate, so don’t worry if your plants are slow to appear, just keep the soil damp, but not wet, until they’re up.

Planting

Plant seedlings: April-June

Spinach doesn’t like to have its fine, sensitive roots disturbed. Take care when planting your seedlings out. Smaller plants will usually handle a transplant better. Add a small amount of organic bonemeal to each hole before planting. This will help your spinach develop strong roots. As always, remember to water your seedlings in well.

Care

Pick from your plants often to keep them vigorous. Remove any sick or damaged leaves as soon as you spot them.

Watering

Spinach likes lots of water. The winter rains should do most of the work for you, but keep an eye on your spinach and don’t let the soil dry out. Once the weather warms in spring, water your spinach in the heat of the afternoon to cool it down and keep the soil cool for the evening.

Feeding

Leafy green crops like spinach need plenty of nitrogen. Give your plants a nitrogen-rich, liquid feed every 2 weeks. Fish emulsion or manure tea are good options.

Mulching

Mulching spinach helps to keep the soil moist and cool. Apply a generous layer of organic mulch such as lucerne, sugar cane or peastraw.

Harvesting

Harvest: 5 to 11 Weeks After Planting

Leaves can be harvested at any stage. Harvest the right size leaves for your requirements. Simply cut or pinch the spinach leaves off the plant as you need them.

What to do about Aphids?

Spray with soap spray weekly until the problem is under control. It may be necessary to reapply more often if it’s a particularly rainy winter.

What to do about Snails and slugs?

Lay down grit, like eggshells or silica sand or create barriers around your plants. Remove any slugs or snails that you see.
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