Growing spinach in the greenhouse?

brandond(6)November 17, 2011

I plan on trying to grow some spinach in my 10x10 greenhouse. Ive never tried this and would appreciate any feedback. Its a polycarbonate greenhouse with bubble wrap as an extra layer of insulation. I have a well insulated north wall, and a sand gravel floor to insulate from the ground. I plan on taking some cedar 1x6's and making some small raised beds that sit on top of the sand. Whats a good planting mix for spinach?I have a milkhouse heater for nightime cold weather. I do have some black 55 gallon barrels that I could also place on the north wall for passive solvar heat. Is this worth trying as well or should I not try it. Lots of ?'s for me, so any answers and knowledge would be appriciated.

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karin_mt(4 MT)

Go for it! Spinach is quite forgiving to grow. It can take temps well below freezing, and with some water barrels, your insulated greenhouse, and some frost blankets over the plants at night, I bet you won't need the heater. You may want to germinate the seedlings indoors because it will go a lot faster if it's warm. I am pampering my current crop of seedlings, with a warm spot in the greenhouse by day, then I bring them in the house at night.

I don't think spinach is fussy about soil, So I think any kind of improved soil will be fine.

My best advice for stuff like this is to just give it a shot and see what happens and then learn about what you can improve next time. Since seeds are cheap, it allows for plenty of easy experimentation.

In addition to spinach you can try greens like mizuna, arugula, kale, etc. Whatever taste you prefer, they are all easy to grow.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 4:57PM
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You might be too late for this time of year. I'm still in the reading stage and hope to have a high tunnel in the spring but I thought seeding needs to be done in September for some growth before the short days. According to Eliot Coleman's books, plants stop growing during the shortest days.

Here's a link to Johnny's Seeds about short days/long nights

but also read the section on Over Wintering that mentions how spinach will go dormant (you can still harvest) this time of year. Day length depends on where you are located.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 1:15PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

Here is my spinach in one of my unheated high tunnels.

The far left was planted on September 17th, Next bed, September 24th and last bed was October 1st. As we move right, we had better germination. We started harvesting from it November 5th.

For more information, look at the link below.


Here is a link that might be useful: High tunnels and spinach planting dates

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 1:41PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

I forgot to add, this picture was taken around November 1st. The bed on the right has Radishes and Haikuri Turnips.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 2:41PM
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Raised beds are not a good idea for fall and winter growing. They are far more likely to freeze when compared to in-ground beds. That being said, you are in zone 6 and your winters may be mild enough either way. I would encourage the use of row covers as well to help insulate *both* the spinach plants and the beds you plan to put them in.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 6:54PM
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poppa(z5 MA)

Jay... through how much of the winter do you grow these crops? I am asking because i am curious about my own results. I am in zone 5b and can grow spinnach through the entire winter with no heat and it survives nicely. It is the only crop which doesn't seem to stop at all. I get no frost damage. It does tend to go to flower in early spring. Didn't take notes but i am guessing early to mif April...

Thanks for any thoughts.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2011 at 11:11PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

I will harvest it all winter long, with out any problems. I need to start putting row cover over it, but I haven't had time to get that done. Once it starts to get below 20 degrees every night and the days don't warm up. It will be covered.


    Bookmark   November 21, 2011 at 12:28AM
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