Knowing how early and how late in the year you can plant spinach allows you to get the most out of the growing season by letting you harvest as much as possible. So precisely how early and how late in the year can you actually plant spinach? I have answered that question with this article.
In most of the world, you can plant spinach from about a month before the last expected frost date in the spring until about two months before the first expected frost date in the fall or winter. In areas that don’t get frost and have at least four hours of sunlight per day all year, spinach can grow all year round.
If you, like me, live in an area that gets too cold or doesn’t get enough sunlight in the winter to grow spinach, I have a method to share with you that you can use to grow spinach all year round, regardless of how cold it is and how much sunlight there is. But first, I am going to elaborate a bit on how early and how late you can plant spinach.
Earliest and Latest Time of the Year You Can Plant Spinach
How early and late in the year you can plant spinach depends on where you live. Luckily, there are some relatively simple things you should know about that can help you figure it out.
If you live in an area that gets at least four hours of sunlight per day and only ever gets very mild frost or no frost at all, even in the winter, you should be able to grow spinach all year round.
For the rest of us, it is a bit more complicated.
I found this excellent paper from PennState Extension, College of Agriculture, that explains how important it is to plant the seeds at the right time since it can help you achieve multiple harvests per year.
Here is a great quote from the paper that explains how early and late you can plant spinach:
Recommendations are to plant spinach about four to eight weeks before your average last frost date in the spring and six to eight weeks before the average first frost date in the fall.Growing Spinach, A Cool-Season Vegetable, PennState Extension, College of Agricultural Sciences (Source)
Because spinach has such a long potential growing season, tricks like this are great since they can help you get much more spinach in one season than otherwise.
If you are still not sure if it is too early or too late to grow spinach and you have some spare seeds anyway, then I highly recommend that you just go for it. The worst thing that can happen is that you waste some seeds and they might even surprise you and grow at a later time if it is too cold now.
A trick I sometimes use to get as much spinach as possible out of a growing season is to plant a few plants every week or so throughout the entire season instead of planting a lot at once. That way, I can harvest a couple of plants per week which fits me very well.
What I wrote here assumes that you are growing your spinach with natural sunlight, but if you don’t mind using some technology, there is actually a really simple way to grow spinach all year round, regardless of how much sunlight there is outside. I explain that below.
Simple Method for Growing Spinach All Year Round
Generally speaking, spinach has a very long growing season. The plant and seed can withstand light frost, so you can start growing it very early and continue until very late in the year. That said, at some point, it will most likely get too cold, or there will be too little light to grow spinach. That is unless you use the method I am about to explain.
The primary reasons why you can’t grow spinach all year round are that the temperatures get too low and that there isn’t enough sunlight.
This is probably the case for most people reading this, but if you live in an area that only gets very mild frost, or even no frost at all, and gets at least four hours of sunlight per day on average, you should be able to grow spinach all year round without too many issues. You can read more about these requirements on this link.
For those of you who, like me, live in an area that gets too cold in the winter to grow spinach outside, there is another very simple trick.
The easiest way to grow spinach and other plants all year round, regardless of the weather outside, is to use grow lights to provide artificial light for the plants. With grow lights, you have full control over how much light your plants get, allowing you to grow spinach at any time of the year.
Spinach is an annual plant that only lives for a single growing season, so you have to plant it over and over again. If you know how to harvest it correctly, however, you can make it grow back from the same plant multiple times within the same growing season. This is a great way to maximize how much spinach you get from each plant that you can read much more about on this link.