Spinach ranks as one of the most delicious and tender of all the leafy greens, yet this tasty crop is often absent from most gardens. Maybe because gardeners planting it in the spring are often disappointed by the small harvest of undersized leaves just before the plant becomes leggy and goes to seed. I know I endured a huge learning curve once I began planting spinach. But don't give up!
Bloomsdale longstanding is a well-flavored English-style spinach with thick, slightly crumpled leaves. This strain of Spinach is a favorite because it will grow well in very cool to winter cold weather, provides good nutrition and is fast growing so you can begin picking outer leaves within weeks of planting. Though the leaves are delicate they do provide a good level of fiber as well as containing high levels of calcium, folate, vitamins A, C and K, along with iron. Bloomsdale Longstanding loves the cooler weather and will go to seed quickly in the hot summer months if not carefully tended. Therein lies the key my friends, plant your spinach in fall and/or those late winter months when the ground begins to thaw but before spring fully arrives. Pluck the leaves as required as they are best enjoyed freshly picked. Surplus amounts can be placed in plastic bags and frozen for later use. This spinach makes a wonderful addition to any salad or dish.
Take 6 ounces of fresh picked spinach, 1 medium sweet pepper sliced thin, 1 small red onion sliced thin and toss together in a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese and mix until well coated. Enjoy alone or with most any entrée.
Sowing The Seed
Spinach is a cool weather crop that prefers late winter temperatures. Sow your Spinach seeds directly outdoors, 6 weeks prior to the last frost. Till the area when the soil is no longer frozen and remove all unwanted debris from the sowing area. Sow each seed at a depth of 1/2" under topsoil, covering lightly.
Spinach plants will thrive in an area of full sunlight, with temperatures around 45F to 55F. The seeds won't germinate if temperatures rise above 75F. The soil should be fertile, and rich in organic matter, but also well drained. To improve drainage, we recommend adding a light compost to any areas that consist of hard, compact soil. Water the seeds daily so that the soil is moist, but never saturated.
Germination & Growth
Bloomsdale Longstanding Spinach will typically take anywhere between 7 and 21 days to germinate, if optimal conditions are met. The plants will mature to a height of 10 to 12 inches tall and can easily spread 12 inches wide. Space each plant about 8 to 10 inches apart, in rows spaced 2 feet apart from one another. Begin harvesting these tasty greens in roughly 45 to 50 days.