Last Updated on October 13, 2022 by Real Men Sow
Harvesting spinach for continuous growth is a very easy task but one might need a spinach harvest guide to go through it. As you know, one of the first vegetables that spring gardens can produce is Spinach. After months of winter, its dark green tender leaves are a welcomed sight. This green leafy vegetable is full of nutrients and vitamins (such as vitamin A, vitamin B, and vitamin C). The best thing about growing it is that you can still harvest the leaves for smoothies and salads.
We will show you how to harvest spinach leaves to ensure that the plant continues to grow and you get another harvest. We’ll show you when it is time to harvest spinach.
When is it ready to harvest spinach?
Spinach (Spinacia Oleracea) can be harvested as soon as the leaves have reached a size that is suitable for harvesting. You may have seen the baby spinach clamshells in your local grocery store. These are immature spinach leaves, which were harvested before reaching maturity. They are more tender and sweeter than mature ones.
Take only 25-30% of young plants at a time when harvesting. This will ensure that your plant can produce continuously.
Tip: Spinach prefers full sun but can tolerate (and even enjoy!) partial shade in the hottest parts of the day in the late spring and early summer.
Spinach Harvest Guide
It’s easy to harvest spinach! You will need a pair of scissors or pruning snips, sharp knives, and your fingernails. To harvest:
- To reveal the growth point of your spinach plant’s roots, remove any thick mulch.
- Pick a leaf.
- Cut, pinch, or shave the stem from the leaf just above the soil surface. To allow for regrowth, you don’t have to leave more than 1/2 inch of stem above the soil’s surface.
- Keep harvesting until you have enough spinach to last you a full year, but no more than 25-30% on one plant.
Tip: Take the spinach out from the inside. It is easier to reach the leaf, and the older leaves are more easily reached. This allows the young leaves to grow inside.
Frequently Asked Questions
I know, you have plenty of questions you need answers to. Below are the questions most frequently asked of me with regard to spinach. I reckon it will help you a lot.
Can you still harvest spinach even after it bolts?
While the spinach bolts, you can still harvest it. Be aware, however, that when the spinach bolts, it can become more bitter and more difficult to harvest.
Do I need to pull up my spinach plants when it snows?
No! Even though the leaves may die back in the snow, the root system will usually be in great shape.
Some varieties of spinach, such as Winter Bloomsdale, Bloomsdale Long Standing, and Tyee, are strong enough to withstand heavy freezes without much protection.
How can I keep fresh spinach safe until I use it?
Fresh spinach, like other greens in the garden like lettuce, kale, and Swiss chard needs moisture and some chilling when stored. However, your refrigerator’s humidity is extremely low. You need to wrap the spinach in a damp kitchen towel or paper towel and place it in a plastic bag or container that is airtight. The towel should remain damp.
Tip: Vejibags are one of the ways to store spinach and other produce. These bags keep the spinach fresh for up to a week in our refrigerator!
How to clean and prepare spinach?
A good-sized salad spinner is essential for greens growers. It makes cleaning spinach quick and easy. The process can be done even if you don’t own a salad spinner.
- Use cool, clean water to fill a bowl, sink, or base of a salad spinner.
- Soak the spinach in the water. To remove dirt and debris, swirl it around.
- Drain the spinach.
- Continue the process of washing until the water runs clear.
You can dry the spinach in a salad spinner, or spread it on kitchen towels and gently pat it dry.
Tip: Savoy spinach varieties that have bumpy leaves tend to trap dirt better than those with smoother leaves. These types of spinach may need an additional rinse.
Can spinach be frozen?
Yes! They reproduce faster than other crops. Thus, keeping some in the freezer is recommended for future usage. The same way you would freeze kale and Swiss chard.
- Spinach should be washed and dried well.
- Spread it out on a baking tray, making sure it is a thin layer. Flash freeze it until solid.
- You can use a freezer bag or container that is freezer-safe. To save space, you can either put the whole leaf in a plastic freezer bag or container.
- Spinach can stay frozen for at least a year.
Tip: You can blanch the spinach greens before freezing to save space. This reduces the spinach’s volume dramatically. After blanching, place it in a muffin tin and freeze. You can then take out the frozen spinach “pucks”, which you can use throughout winter.
Spinach is an essential vegetable to grow in any vegetable garden. We hope you found our spinach harvest guide helpful and may you enjoy harvesting your sweet, tender spinach leaves while enjoying their delicious flavor!