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Article compliment of The University of Illinois Extension
Spinach growing in the garden is a welcome sign of spring. It is a source of Vitamin A. It is rich in iron, calcium and protein. Spinach can be grown as a spring and a fall crop. Crinkled leaved varieties tend to catch soil during rainfalls. Plant a plain leaved variety to avoid a "gritty" spinach when chewed. Spinach is a cool weather crop.
Bloomsdale Long Standing (48 days to harvest; thick, very crinkly, glossy dark green leaves) Pictured right. I like the crinkle spinach so that is what I will be planting in my garden using homemade seed tapes.
Winter Bloomsdale (45 days, tolerant to cucumber mosaic virus, slow to bolt, cold tolerant, good for over-wintering)
Indian Summer (39 days; semi-savoy; resistant to downy mildew races 1 and 2, tolerant to spinach blight) pictured below left
Melody (42 days; lightly crinkled; resistant to downy mildew, mosaic; good spring or fall) Tyee (39 days; dark green; heavily savoyed; tolerant to downy mildew; spring, fall or winter)
Vienna (40 days; very savoyed; medium to long-standing; tolerant to downy mildew races 1 and 2 as well as spinach blight)
Giant Nobel (43 days; large, smooth leaves; long-standing).
Olympia (46 days; slow to bolt; spring, summer harvest).
Downy mildew and other fungal leaf diseases are a problem, especially in seasons that are wet, humid or both. Some resistance is available through variety selection. Raised beds create excellent air and water drainage in the spinach bed, which also helps prevent infections.
A. Spinach bolts quickly to seed during the long days in late spring or summer. Warm temperatures accelerate this development. Varieties that are "long standing" or slow to bolt are best adapted for spring planting.
Q. What causes yellowing, stunting and early death of plants?
A. These conditions are caused by blight disease (cucumber mosaic virus). Grow resistant varieties.