How To Grow Baby Spinach

Baby spinach is a popular leafy green vegetable that is easy to grow at home.

Freshly picked baby spinach leaves straight from the garden are much more tastier than store bought leaves and you can use them in a variety of ways including salads, stir fries and smoothies.

In this article I’ll share my tips for growing baby spinach leaves in the garden and indoors.

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baby spinach seedlings

Baby spinach (Spinacia oleracea) leaves are harvested when they’re young and tender, which makes them ideal to eat raw in salads.

I like to grow a few spinach plants at a time and pick the leaves fresh from the garden for my salads.

Baby spinach growing season

Spinach plants grow best in cool weather when planted outdoors but indoors you can grow them just about all year round as long as it’s cool inside your home.

Plant spinach seeds directly in the garden in early spring when the soil has thawed out after winter and you can plant another crop in fall.

Temperatures between 50 to 77 ℉ (10 to 25 ℃) are ideal for growing baby spinach plants.

If the temperature rises above 78 ℉ (26 ℃) the plants will bolt (go to seed) quickly.

Sunlight

Spinach grows best in full sun but in warm climates the plants will need partial shade.

baby spinach plants

Best spinach varieties to harvest baby leaves

Bloomsdale – a hardy spinach variety that grows well in partial shade

Green malabar – a tender stemmed variety with dark green leaves

Red malabar – a beautiful red stemmed variety

New Zealand spinach – fast growing with tender leaves

Giant noble – fast growing and ready to harvest in 46 days

Growing baby spinach indoors

Choose a container that is at least 12 inches (30 cm) deep and fill it with a seed raising mix.

It’s best to plant spinach seeds directly in the container rather than transplanting the seedlings because the roots can be easily damaged.

Sow the seeds about ½ an inch (1 cm) deep and about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. 

You’ll be harvesting the leaves before the plants get to full size so they won’t need too much room to spread out.

Cover the seeds with soil and water gently.

Place the container in a spot that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight each day and take care to ensure that the soil is kept moist.

You should see the seedlings start to emerge in 7 to 14 days but it may take longer if the soil is cold.

Growing baby spinach outdoors

Prepare your garden before planting by digging in some organic matter like well broken down compost.

Sow the seeds directly into the soil ½ an inch (1 cm) deep and about 2 inches (5 cm) apart.

Cover the seeds gently with soil and water well.

I like to plant a couple of rows every 2 weeks so that the leaves aren’t all ready to harvest at the same time.

growing baby spinach plants

Watering

Spinach plants need consistently moist soil so it’s important to ensure that the soil doesn’t dry out too much.

In warm weather you may need to water the plants daily.

Fertilizer

Give your spinach plants a feed with water soluble vegetable fertilizer when the plants have about four leaves.

Pests

Slugs and snails will eat baby spinach plants so it’s a good idea to set up a beer trap in the garden or venture out at nighttime and pick them off by hand.

Spider mites and aphids can also be a problem and they can be controlled by spraying the plants with neem oil spray. [1]

harvesting baby spinach

Is baby spinach frost tolerant?

Baby spinach plants can tolerate cold temperatures and light frosts but they will need protection from hard freezes.

Harvesting baby spinach

You can start picking baby spinach leaves about 40 days after planting so you won’t have to wait long to harvest your own home grown baby spinach leaves.

Once the plant has about six leaves you can pick a few of the outside leaves.

Leave the inside leaves in place so the plants can keep producing more leaves.

Spinach plants keep producing new leaves for a few weeks and by succession planting you can have a continuous supply of salad greens for many weeks.

It’s a good idea to check your plants every few days and pick the leaves before they get too big.

growing vegies indoors

Storing baby spinach

Baby spinach leaves can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 4 to 5 days.

Place the leaves in the container straight from the garden and wash them just before using.

Baby spinach leaves can also be frozen for use in soups and stir fries by placing the leaves into a freezer bag and squeezing out all the air.

The leaves will last for about a year in the freezer.

So there are my tips for growing baby spinach plants at home.

Baby spinach is easy to grow, even for beginner gardeners and you can harvest the leaves as you need them so you’ll always have fresh salad greens at hand. 

Spinach seeds can also be used to grow nutritious microgreens or salad sprouts.

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Have you tried growing baby spinach plants? Let me know in the comments below.

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baby spinach leaves

Kelly Martin

Hi, I'm Kelly Martin. I'm passionate about gardening and horticulture and I love growing just about everything including herbs, vegetables, flowers, succulents and indoor plants. I've been gardening most of my life and I created this blog to inspire beginner gardeners to create their own urban garden. Read more

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