The Desert Homestead Blog
Urban and rural sustainable homesteading in the desert southwest

Gardening Update: Spinach

I’ve been trying to grow spinach and have not had a lot of success at it. The first time, I planted the seeds indoors in a pot. They sprouted, shot up to about 3 inches (a single long, pale sprout), then rolled over and died. Sources tell me this is a sign of not enough light.

Fair enough. I planted the next crop in small pots outdoors. Despite watering twice daily, the top of the soil in the pots was always dried out, and they never sprouted.

Now I’m on Crop #3. This time I spread eight seeds on a paper napkin, which I soaked with water. I continued to check them and soak the napkin daily. On the 3rd day, I discovered a sprout:

My spinach sprout

Using one of my plant pots, I drilled a series of small holes about 3/4″ deep into the soil, and dropped a seed into each:

I used a watering can to gently but thoroughly saturate the soil completely (I used a hose once, and the pressure blasted both dirt and seeds out of the pot!):

Finally, because I’m heading up to the Ranch this afternoon and won’t be back until Sunday evening, I covered the pot with a thin clear plastic trash bag. I’ve placed the pot outside in a semi-shady area — my hope is that the bag will allow enough light while preventing too much moisture from escaping.

My big fear is that the soil will get too hot and burn the seeds; guess I’ll find out upon my return.


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