Maybe you’re someone who enjoys eating healthy or growing plants indoors and you’ve heard it might be more affordable to grow a few of your own veggies, such as spinach. The only issue is you don’t have an outdoor garden, only space inside. What are your options? In many ways, growing plants and even entire gardens indoors is easier than growing them outside in the elements you can’t control.
Can You Grow Spinach Indoors? Yes! Like most vegetables, spinach grows indoors incredibly well. With Just water, potting soil or hydroponics, containers, and seeds, people of all ages and gardening skill levels can enjoy the satisfaction of growing their own vegetables, spinach among them.
Interested in learning how to grow spinach indoors using soil? Then keep reading. In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about growing spinach indoors using soil, a pot, mulch, and even when it’s time to harvest. Also, we’ll discuss other veggies and fruits you might want to consider growing your lovely indoor garden.
Can You Grow Spinach Indoors?
Yes, you can grow fresh, healthful vegetables like spinach from the comfort of your own home. This can come in handy in many scenarios. For instance, perhaps you live in an apartment where you’re not allowed to have an outdoor garden. You could also want to grow plants and food even in the winter, in which an indoor environment is the ideal choice.
Spinach benefits those new to gardening in many ways. It doesn’t require much to plant it, as we’ll cover in the next section. You don’t necessarily need a lot of space in which to grow your spinach, either. If you have a windowsill, then you can begin harvesting your very own veggies.
Once you discover the joys of gardening and preparing food with vegetables you tended to yourself, you might just become addicted to it.
How to Grow Indoor Spinach
You’re more than ready to begin growing your indoor spinach garden. How do you do it? Here are some steps to follow.
Pick Your Pot
First thing’s first, and that’s getting a vessel for your spinach. Some people will use seed trays for this and others a pot. If you go the pot route, then its depth matters more than its width. If you pot isn’t at least six inches deep, keep shopping around. It’s best if you can find a pot with a depth of eight inches, but it’s not necessary.
Sow the Seeds
Those who choose a seed tray can put the seed container right in the tray if they so desire. Bury the seeds at a depth of half an inch. Within five days, sometimes up to two weeks, your spinach should begin growing.
If planting spinach in a pot, you must give it adequate room. How much space the seeds need will depend on the leaf size of the vegetable when it’s fully grown. If the spinach will have large leaves, then keep the seeds five inches from each other. If you anticipate smaller leaves, then three inches of space should work fine. Some gardeners even plant their spinach seeds two inches from each other, but that’s only when they plan for an early harvest.
We have to talk about the soil you use for planting as well. You can get away with most store-bought potting mixes, but make sure yours has lots of organic matter. Loamy and crumbly soil supports spinach best. Check the pH of the soil as well and make sure it’s as close to neutral as possible. Your soil should also drain well, as if it gets backed up, it could impact spinach growth.
Place Your Pot
With your soil in the pot and the seeds ready as well, you need to put your pot in an optimal place. If you’re growing your spinach in the spring or summertime, then it’s important you avoid spots that are too sunny. Spinach needs some shade to thrive. When planting this veggie in the fall then, go for sunnier areas because the sun sets early.
Maintain the Temperature
Spinach is rather hardy, but you still want to check your thermostat to ensure you don’t accidentally kill it. Germination of the seeds can begin at 40 degrees up to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Just because spinach can withstand temps in the 40s doesn’t mean you have to keep your apartment or home that cold. The seeds do especially well if you set the thermostat to at least 50 degrees.
Some spinach can survive temperature extremes even lower (like 20 degrees) or higher (90 degrees). Should you find yourself in a scenario where the temperatures exceed 90 degrees or more, then you’ll have to safeguard your spinach so it gets some shade.
Water the Plant
Your spinach won’t progress much without you watering it. You can’t just dump water on the plant and call it good, though. Instead, you must take some precautions. As you water your soil, do so until it’s moist, but never let it get fully wet. Keep the water off the spinach foliage, too.
Most importantly, make sure the soil is draining as it should. If too much water sits in the pot, the spinach could develop a fungal disease or root rot.
Mulch and Fertilize
The most maintenance you’ll have to do for your spinach is mulch and fertilize it. When you mulch this vegetable, add more organic matter. This maintains the soil’s moisture content, thus keeping your spinach healthy.
Nitrogen-based fertilizer will augment the growth of your spinach. Manure works as well, but you must make sure it’s rotted. Other options you have for fertilizer include manure tea, compost, or fish emulsion. Apply these when your spinach has sprouted but before it finishes growing.
Growing spinach might be easy, but it’s not fast. It can take over a month before you can harvest the vegetable, sometimes up to 50 days. To decide if your spinach is ready, measure the leaves. Have they grown to three inches, even four? How many leaves does the plant have? Five or six? Then you can begin harvesting.
What Other Veggies Can You Grow Inside?
As we said before, you might soon find yourself clambering to grow more of your own vegetables after your successful experience with the spinach. What other veggies could you plant indoors? Try any of these!
While the growing requirements of these vegetables will likely differ from those of spinach, these indoor veggies often sprout up quickly and easily.
What Fruits Can be Grown Indoors?
Should you decide to move onto the sweet, delicious world of growing your own fruit indoors, you can choose from the following:
- Avocados (yes, they’re technically a fruit)
- Olives (the same with them)
Now, those fruits grow on trees, so it’s not exactly the same as planting vegetables. Still, it’s good to know you have the option if you’re interested.
What are the benefits of eating spinach?
There’s a reason Popeye loves his spinach so much. By incorporating this vegetable into your daily diet, you could reap the following benefits:
- Reduce your rate of infection, as that much spinach can maintain urinary tract, respiratory system, and mucous membrane health
- Maintain or lessen your appetite despite spinach being low in calories, thus aiding in weight loss
- Keep blood sugar levels consistent
- Avoid constipation while improving your digestion
- Enjoy less acne, psoriasis breakouts, and dryness thanks to the vitamin A in spinach
- Improve skin tone (even making wrinkles less apparent) and smoothness by making more collagen and producing antioxidants
- Fight against diseases and conditions like macular degeneration (due to the lutein in spinach), heart disease, high blood pressure, and breast and colon cancers (from the folic acids, fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C spinach contains)
Spinach also has many minerals and vitamins that you can get in a cup of the cooked stuff. These include:
- 23.5 percent of vitamin C
- 23.9 percent of potassium
- 24.4 percent of calcium
- 24.9 percent of vitamin E
- 25.8 percent of vitamin B6
- 32.3 percent of vitamin B2
- 34.4 percent of copper
- 35.1 percent of magnesium
- 35.7 percent of iron
- 65.7 percent of folate
- 84 percent of magnesium
What dishes can you make with fresh spinach?
One of the main perks of spinach is you can eat it raw or cooked. Raw spinach goes great in salads. You might mix it with some sliced strawberries, red onions, toasted almonds, crumbled blue cheese, and a red wine vinaigrette as the dressing. Ground pepper and salt can add a touch of extra flavor to this nutritious meal.
Another spinach salad you might make calls for apples instead of strawberries. Fuji apples will add some tartness to the dish. You can also include sliced onions again if you want, or skip these. Otherwise, toss in sliced almonds and crumbled feta cheese. Make a homemade dressing from ground black pepper, salt, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, red wine vinegar, and olive oil.
Lots of people love sautéing spinach. You’ll need a sizable skillet and some olive oil to do this. Minced garlic and cut onion add flavor and aroma, as the onion will carmelize during sautéing. A dash of soy sauce also augments flavor. It’s such a tasty dish!