Help! My spinach won't grow and my strawberries are drying up!

Donna27May 20, 2014

This is my first year gardening and am so very excited about it! I decided to do use the SFG method since we have nothing but clay soil where I live, plus it's less labor intensive and less expensive than tilling up the ground... Anyway, right now I have some peas, spinach, leaf lettuce, broccoli, onions, and cabbage growing at the moment and everything is doing well... almost.

I have 4 4'x4' beds and they receive full sun all day. The soil is a mixture of perlite, compost, and peat moss.

My spinach plants have grown anywhere from just out of the ground to about 3 inches and stopped. We had a pretty bad freeze in the middle of april and I believe it has stunted my spinach. It did continue to grow after the freeze, but not much. I have put some compost around it thinking that would help.... no. Is it gone? Should I just pull it up and wait for the fall to try again?

Also, along with the crazy freeze, we have had some very unseasonably hot weather as well (sometimes in the upper 80's!) got to love that mountain weather :). My strawberries are blooming and starting to fruit, but then the berries just turn brown and dry up! Should I invest in a shade cloth to protect them from the heat?

Thanks for the help!

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slowjane CA/ Sunset 21

I would give the spinach some time - maybe they're just putting down roots, and waiting to start on their leaves again especially given the fluctuating weather. My spinach grew soooo slowly at first over the winter and suddenly was huge.

I'm not sure what's happening with your strawberries but I will tell you that upper 80's is not hot for strawberries. ;) They grow by the mile here in SoCal in full sun. What they do need though is consistent moisture - could they have dried out between waterings? My understanding is that they need to stay moist - that's the hard part here in SoCal, not the sun/heat. They love that!!

We just came out of a heat wave (100*+ with less than 10% humidity) and I think my strawberry plants' only complaint was that I couldn't keep them watered enough.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 1:51PM
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Thank you slowjane for your advice. I do believe I will leave the spinach for a while longer... it hasn't gone to seed yet so there may still be some life left. As for my strawberries, I think I will need to add some mulch for added moisture control and just keep an eye on them.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 2:57PM
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