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Zone 8 - Growing SPINACH

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

I have finally a good size SPINACH in my vegetable garden.
I have not been lucky growing spinach here.

In order to have spinach seeds to germinate I had to put them in the fridge for two weeks before planting.
When I direct seeded them outside, they hardly come out ... (apart last year when it was 19F for that crazy Superbowl week)

After they germinated, they are so slow to grow ...
Look at the picture ... it was two weeks ago.
I did harvest all of those baby leaves ... but they are growing so slow.

What is your experience growing SPINACH?
Do they grow slow?
or maybe it is too hot for them here in Dallas ...

Thumbnail by drthor
Grand Saline, TX(Zone 7b)

Eat all you can right now!
This is their time, keep up frequent diluted feedings with nitrogen.
They get growing with longer daylight hours, then bolt in warmer temps. Not much else you can do...that I know of :0(
I does seem strange to make all that space for them over winter, but you really do get much more growth then trying to start them in the spring.

What cultivar did you plant?

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

thanks ... I think I plant ed Bordeaux and Villeroy.
They are really sweet right now.
Actually if I could learn how to grow them better I'd like to give them more space in my fall/winter garden ... and less to Kale

Could you think what will be the best time of the year to direct seed them?

Wilmington, NC(Zone 8a)

Hi, I live in zone 8 in coastal NC. I don't know if it's much different in Dallas but I am able to sow spinach in the ground in mid October. It lasts through the light snows and infrequent freezes we get and by spring it's hardy. I hope this is helpful.

Canyon Lake, TX(Zone 8b)

Spinach doesn't like my style of gardening. It is always slow for me. Swiss Chard loves the way I garden and to me when cooked it tastes just like spinach. I don't eat raw spinach and I have never tried raw chard.

I have a neighbor who grows nice spinach. Go figure.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

I have a friend that live in your area. We have really similar planting dates and weather conditions.
I will follow your suggestion next year: mid October.

I agree I luv Swiss Chard much better ... but I luv Spinach too ...
Thanks for confirming that they grow slow ... I thought it was just me

I don't know you ... but I found out that I can grow crops that I don't like sooo much better than the one I love (ex. I can grow Mustard Greens so well .. and puh puh puh too spicy)

I will try again until I will learn how to grow Spinach.
Thanks y'all

Grand Saline, TX(Zone 7b)

Drthor, I'm only an hour away from DFW, my fall planting follows the Dallas schedule. I try and seed fall crops just as soon as the heat breaks, usually mid-September and try to have everything in no later then the end of October.

Haven't grown Bordeaux or Villeroy, you want to grow heat resistant varieties. Look for "slow bolting" when researching seeds.
I like OP and heirloom seeds, but haven't been able to save seed from spinach, it dies on me before seeds can mature. Next year I may go for a hybrid for more growth and, or, heat resistance.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Have you tried Malabar Spinach? It's supposed to like the heat.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

Yes i have tried Malabar Spinach and it grows really well.
It is a beautiful vine .. but the taste is ok ...
I have used as decorative vine ...

cocoa_lulu would you mind to post a note in this thread when you will seed spinach next year, please?

Grand Saline, TX(Zone 7b)

I'll try to remember...I have the long term memory of a goldfish ;0)

I bought seeds today of "Tyee" F1 spinach to plant this fall. Package says, "renowned as the most bolt resistant spinach".
I've seen other southerns give it praise.

I bought them at Wal-Mart...They have started carrying seeds by Seeds Of Change. A bit surprising, but I'm happy I could get these without having to mail order.

Hutto, TX(Zone 8b)


Have you tried cooking beet greens? My understanding is that chard is a very similar plant, just no expanded root. There have been a few discussions of beet greens vs chard here and on the beginner's forum.


Canyon Lake, TX(Zone 8b)

David, Yes, I have cooked and eaten beet greens but not since I started growing chard, so it's been a while. As I recall the last mess of beet greens I cooked had such a strong flavor that I didn't finish off all that I had cooked. I seem to remember that was about the time I became interested in chard.

I'll have to check out the discussions you refer to on the beginner's forum.


Alpine, TX

I plant Tyee spinach in the Fall as soon as the heat is gone, under cover. It grows slowly in the winter, but then in February really gets going and makes wonderful greens all Spring. The cover I used this year was the heaviest Agribon, called a frost blanket. It seems very dense, but works fine at 30 degrees latitude in Texas. We are in Zone 8a revised climate zone. I'll probably change it to a lighter weight cover before it gets very warm.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

This is really embarrassing ... I cannot grow Spinach ...
Even after all that rain ...
Do you think is because it is too hot ?

Thumbnail by drthor
Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

It shouldn't be. It might be the variety.

Wilmington, NC(Zone 8a)

I must be missing something, that doesn't look bad to me. Especially considering you planted it this year as opposed to last fall. Have you havested any? My spinach comes back even better after I cut it back for a yummy salad.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

yes I did harvested them already twice ... but really small leaves !

Wilmington, NC(Zone 8a)

oh, hmmm. Then maybe it is that variety. Don't give up! Try again in late October.

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

Drthor? Research nutrients spinach needs- I know it is ok with nitrogen, but I think if I remember right, it needs iron also

Rochester, NY(Zone 6a)

Here in Zone 6a we don't usually have heat in springtime (this year is an exception) but I have reliably grown the 'Tyee' variety from Johnny's Selected Seeds, maybe Park's too and it has produced a good crop even in summer. Of all vareties I've grown this is the only one to make it through the summer. Choosing a bolt resistant variety is important. as they're more heat tolerant. I think a few things might help. Keep it well watered, use a weak fertilizer to keep it growing quickly and give it some shade. In the summer I plant it (and lettuce) on the north side of tomatoes or other climbing crops. Good luck.

Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

I planted Tyee spinach and arugula this past Saturday. Tuesday the arugula was showing up, and so far no spinach. It had better hurry, because I have a feeling this is going to be a longer, hotter summer than usual.

I don't mind a mild winter one little bit. But could somebody please send us a mild summer? :p

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

I normally throw Arugula seeds in my garden in September. They will grow all thought the winter and they will bolt in the heat or they will taste really spicy like your mouth is on fire.
I have removed all of mine already.
Let me know how yours will do, ok?

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Drthor ~ I agree. Mine are still blooming and seeding but I will be removing them soon.

Brigidlily ~ they grow and are edible all through winter. I enjoy seeing green edibles throughout winter. I also kept lettuce, chard and par-cel through winter but didn't plant any spinach.

Drthor ~ did your seed pods dry before ripping them up? I was actually waiting and watching, hoping they would start to ripen so I could harvest some seed. Kristi

This message was edited Mar 29, 2012 7:37 PM

Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

Saw some spinach peeking out this evening. I will report, and I don't expect much! If nothing else, I can till it all under and plant zinnias... 8-/

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

podster .. no I didn't wait for the pods to dry ... I can buy seeds really cheap ...
In a few weeks my garden club will visit my garden and it needs to be nice ... yuk

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Zinnias ~ hmmmm are they edible? lol

Drthor ~ wondering if I pulled them and hung them in the GH to dry. Perhaps some of the seed would be viable.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

Arugula 1lb $8 ...
I bought 1lb bag 4 years ago and I still have half of it ...

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Well, I guess you are right. Seed is cheap enough and I'm not that crazy about . Guess I'll pull them up.

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

These are mostly cool season greens to be steamed or eaten raw, but one of them might like your climate and gardening style, in the fall if not in the spring. The first two are just Asian varieties of spinach & chard. The last one is a little wild, but if you have a boggy spot, it does like heat.

"Oriental Spinach" - ral Spinacia oleracea, just another variety - Big, dark green, slightly pointed "arrowhead" leaves,
Long tender stems from Tainong seeds

Japanese Chard - Umaina fudansu from Kitazawa Seeds - minor variation on Swiss Chard, more tender & larger in my garden

Tatsoi - - Brassica rapa Narinosa - very sweet

Bok Choy - Brassica rapa Chinesis Group - I just unreservedly love this, young and raw, or steamed or boiled.

"Spinach Mustard" - Japanese Komatsuna - Brassica rapa var. komatsuna (turnip family) - hardly spicy at all

"Water Spinach" - Ipomoea aquatica - "phakbung" - "Kang Kong", semi-aquatic-BOG, sub-tropical, may be invasive in S. Florida

If any catch your eye, let me know and I'll share. Somehow I became an eager proselytizer for Asian Brassicas, I'm not sure why. Let's see, I curently have seeds for
over a dozen Bok Choy varieties (white stem & green stem),
4-5 Gai Lan varieties,
4-6 Yu Choy or Yu Choy Sum (with and without flowering stalks)
2 Tatsoi
Komatsuna, Mizuna, Leaf Mustard / Small Gaichoy, Mustard 'Red Frills' and hot season Red Amaranth.

Maybe I just like the exotic names and haivng passrs-by ask me "what's THAT?!?"

Just not in time for this Spring crop! I'm swamped at the moment with car trouble and other chores!

Pictures and details over here:

This message was edited Mar 30, 2012 7:36 PM

Grand Saline, TX(Zone 7b)

Krist, I love to save seed, the spinach is a pain tho. You have to make sure you have male and female flowers and enough leaf for the seed to mature It's the females that have died on me in the heat, I don't know why they bloom later then the males. If you thump the blooms it easy to tell the males, they send up big puffs of pollen.

I've got enough left for a big Easter salad, then pulling them out.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Thanks... this is Arugula that I'm watching the seeds and after this weeks house guests leave, I'll uproot them and trying for some viable seed. Ya want some???

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

My leaf brocolli overwintered without even wilting (it was mild for Zone 8b this winter).

I just noticed that it finally went to seed - I guess it must be biennial even thoguh that;'s not what I read about it.
And the winter-ed-over leaves boil up tender and no stornger in flavor than broccoli! Even the smaller stems are still edible!


Spigariello Liscia / Broccolo Spigariello / Brassica oleracea var. 'Spigariello'
Very cold-hardy once established, OK above 25
O.P. 45-65 days. Full Sun Annual
Hazzards 2011

Grand Saline, TX(Zone 7b)

Kristi, Thank you so much for the offer, but have plenty of arugula! It reseeds without trying here. I'm not taking any more seeds from you, until I can find something you What to get the gal who has everything :0) Did you ever get okra seed last year? I'm crazy getting stuff in the ground and want to get a trade list going, but until then..I hope you know, you can ask me for anything :0)

Corey, same to you :0)

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

LOL ~ the girl that has everything??? Just everything I want in plants/seeds except a yard person to assist and I know you are not available. So sad.

It wasn't I regarding the okra. I've grown Lee okra for a while and this year I tracked down some heirloom seed for Becks okra. Least I think that is the name without going and looking.

I gave up on the arugula. It was windy, rainy yesterday and laid the plants flat. I popped some of the older seed pods and they weren't ripened so I uprooted and tossed all on the compost pile for now. From one extreme to another...

Hoping no one was in harms way from the storms today either. Stay safe.

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

>> Just everything I want in plants/seeds except a yard person to assist


Besides someone to help me wheelbarrow things around the yard, I would like to trade for a few more square feet of raised beds with full sun!

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

A guy (or gal) can dream, can't we?

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

Amen to that!

Grand Saline, TX(Zone 7b)

I picked and pulled the last of the spinach this week. Some of the males had already looked like they were dying, some were getting closer to blooming..and still no sign of female flowers.

Kristi, eager to hear what you think of Beck's..I'm intrigued by it's size alone and curious to see if they could be stuffed, like a pepper. Dh loves stuffed, grilled jalapeno, but they don't like
I harvested a handful of arugula, did you need some? Anyone? Speak soon, I'm going to broadcast these over the new garden plot :0)

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

No to the arugula but thank you. Just uprooted the last of mine.

I'm looking forward to the Becks also. I want to try slicing, seasoning and drying them too.
Hoping to have an ample crop.

Grand Saline, TX(Zone 7b)

Oh yes, I want to try them dried too! I missed out last year and let the drought take the okra.
I've been eating dried kale chips, they are sooo good!

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