10 Spinach Plant Varieties You Should Know

Kasey Spencer
spinach plant varieties

Growing our spinach can be a rewarding experience. Spinach thrives in different climates and soil types, offering numerous varieties to choose from. Each type has unique characteristics that can suit our varying gardening needs, whether we seek quick-growing leaves or those resistant to specific conditions.

With so many options, finding the ideal spinach variety for our garden can enhance our success and enjoyment. Exploring a range of spinach cultivars allows us to enjoy fresh, home-grown greens adapted to our specific region and taste preferences.

1. Bloomsdale Long Standing

Bloomsdale Long Standing
Image: Burpee Seeds

Bloomsdale Long Standing spinach is a reliable variety known for its heat tolerance and full-flavored leaves. Its deeply crinkled, dark green leaves are perfect for salads.

We should plant our Bloomsdale seeds in rows 1-2 feet apart. Cover them with half an inch of fine soil and firm it lightly.

It’s important to thin seedlings to about 6 inches apart when they are 1-2 inches tall. This gives the plants enough space to grow properly.

We must water the plants regularly, especially during hot and dry weather. About one inch of water per week keeps the plants healthy.

Typically, Bloomsdale Long Standing spinach reaches about 8-12 inches in height and 6-8 inches in width. It’s ready for harvest when the leaves are 3-6 inches long, usually around six weeks after planting.

2. Bloomsdale Savoy

Bloomsdale Savoy
Image: BC Eco Seed Co-op

Bloomsdale Savoy is a popular heirloom variety, known for its crinkled, dark green leaves. It’s highly resilient to cold weather, making it perfect for early spring and fall planting.

When growing Bloomsdale Savoy, we need to space seeds at least 3.12 inches apart and sow them about 0.49 inches deep. Keeping the soil temperature above 46°F ensures good germination.

This variety is known for its fast growth. It can overwinter and produce earlier in spring if we plant it in the fall. Regular watering is essential to promote healthy growth, especially during hot, dry weather. Bloomsdale Savoy also shows high resistance to blight and blue mold, making it a reliable choice for our gardens.

3. Space

Bloomsdale Space
Image: Veseys

Space is an excellent spinach variety for winter harvests. We can plant the seeds in September to grow over the winter. This type of spinach thrives in cold weather, making it perfect for the cooler months.

Space spinach is known for its disease resistance and tolerance to cold. Its seeds germinate quickly and the plant grows steadily. We often see lush, dark green leaves that are smooth and easy to clean.

When growing Space spinach, ensuring it gets enough sunlight is important. Though it likes the cold, it still needs light to grow well. This variety is a reliable choice for anyone looking to have fresh spinach even during the colder seasons.

4. Tyee

Tyee spinach
Image: American Seed Co.

Tyee spinach is a great choice for gardeners who want a dependable, hardy plant. It does well in different weather conditions and produces lots of leaves.

We should plant Tyee spinach in loose soil free of weeds or rocks. Adding compost or well-rotted manure can help the plants grow better.

Tyee spinach is known for its resistance to downy mildew. This makes it easier for us to maintain a healthy garden.

Regular watering is essential but be careful not to overwater. The taste and texture of Tyee spinach make it a favorite for fresh salads and cooking.

5. Viroflay

Viroflay Spinach
Image: @Urban Farmer

Viroflay is a spinach variety known for its large leaves and quick growth. This French heirloom dates back to the 1800s. The leaves can grow up to 10 inches long and are smooth and deep green.

We should plant Viroflay seeds about half an inch deep, spacing them 2-3 inches apart. Rows should be about 12 inches apart. The seeds germinate in 5-10 days under ideal conditions.

This variety is ready to harvest in 40-50 days. Viroflay is bolt-resistant, meaning it can handle warm weather without going to seed too quickly. This makes it a great choice for both spring and fall planting.

6. Red Cardinal

Red Cardinal spinach
Image: Slurrp

Red Cardinal spinach is a striking variety with smooth, dark green leaves that have bright red veins and stems. These unique features make it a standout in any garden.

The young leaves are tender and can be picked for salads. They have a great flavor that adds a fresh touch to dishes.

The mature leaves look like typical spinach and are perfect for cooking. They’re also easy to clean, which makes preparation simple.

Red Cardinal is known for its high resistance to downy mildew, making it a reliable choice for gardeners. It does well in various climates and is hardy in zones 5-10.

This variety combines beauty and resilience, making it a favorite amongst both home gardeners and small farmers.

7. Butterflay

New Zealand Spinach
Image: Savvy Gardening

Butterflay is an open-pollinated spinach variety that we highly recommend. It grows fast and provides a high yield, making it a favorite for gardeners.

The leaves are large, dark, and glossy, which not only look great but also taste delicious. This variety is especially good for growing during the spring, fall, or winter.

Another advantage of Butterflay is its resistance to bolting. This means it doesn’t go to seed quickly, giving us a longer harvest period. Additionally, it can tolerate cold temperatures well.

If mildew diseases are a concern, Butterflay offers some tolerance, making it a reliable choice in varied conditions. It’s a versatile option for any garden.

8. New Zealand

New Zealand Spinach
Image: Savvy Gardening

New Zealand spinach is a unique variety that’s great for summer growing. Unlike regular spinach, which can bolt in warm weather, New Zealand spinach thrives in the heat. It’s a great option for those of us who want fresh greens all season long.

The plants grow to about 1-2 feet tall and spread outwards. They have weak stems that often trail along the ground. It’s best to plant them in full sun with well-drained, moisture-retentive soil.

We should plant the seeds about 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep and space them 2-4 inches apart. This gives the plants enough room to grow without overcrowding. Regular watering after planting helps the seeds germinate well.

New Zealand spinach is relatively pest-free, which makes it easier to maintain. By fertilizing with a balanced 10-10-10 formulation, we can keep the plants healthy and productive through the growing season.

9. Malabar

Malabar spinach
Malabar spinach

Malabar spinach is a unique, heat-loving variety. Unlike traditional spinach, it thrives in hot, humid climates.

We find it prefers full sun but can handle part shade, which actually increases leaf size. When planting, we should space seeds 12 inches apart. This spinach climbs, so using a trellis or poles for support works well.

This variety needs constant moisture and rich soil. Regular watering helps keep the leaves lush and tender.

10. Palco

Palco spinach
Image: Quickcrop IE

Palco spinach is known for its reliability and quick growth, ready to harvest in just 38 days. This variety can be grown in both cool and warm seasons, making it adaptable for many gardens.

We appreciate Palco spinach’s versatility. It can be picked as young baby greens or grown to full size. Its resistance to bolting and diseases, especially downy mildew, makes it a dependable choice.

Palco thrives in fertile soil enriched with compost or well-rotted manure. Consistent watering helps it grow well. It’s a good option for those who want spring and fall crops. This variety also performs well in crowded gardens and containers.

Growing Conditions for Spinach Plants

Let’s look at the best soil, climate, and watering needs for growing healthy spinach plants.

Soil Requirements

Spinach grows best in well-draining soil that’s rich in organic matter. We should aim for soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0.

Using compost or aged manure can improve soil fertility. Loosening the soil to at least 12 inches deep is important to help root growth. Adding a balanced fertilizer can also give the plants a good start. We need to ensure the soil retains good moisture, but excess water should drain out to prevent root rot.

Ideal Climate

Spinach thrives in cool weather, ideal between 45°F and 75°F. These plants prefer partial to full sun, but they can benefit from some shade during hotter parts of the day.

For those in warmer regions, spinach can be grown in the cooler months of spring and fall. In colder climates, we can use row covers or cold frames to extend the growing season.

Watering Needs

Spinach plants need consistent moisture to grow well. We should water them regularly, providing around 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week.

It’s best to water them in the morning to avoid fungal diseases. Using drip irrigation can help keep the foliage dry and reduce disease risks.

Ensuring that the soil remains moist but not waterlogged is key. Mulching around the plants can help retain moisture and keep the soil cool.

Pest and Disease Management

To grow healthy spinach, it’s key to manage pests and diseases effectively. Some pests can seriously damage the leaves, while certain diseases can stunt growth or kill the plant.

Common Pests

Aphids: These small insects suck the sap from spinach leaves, causing them to curl and stunt. We can control aphids by using insecticidal soap or neem oil.

Armyworms: Armyworms chew large, irregular holes in the leaves. Picking them off by hand or using biological pesticides can help manage their population.

Slugs and Snails: These pests leave large holes and slimy trails. Using bait and traps or creating barriers can reduce their numbers. We also find that reducing moisture around the plants helps keep them at bay.

Leaf Miners: Leaf miners create winding trails on leaves. Removing infected leaves and encouraging beneficial insects like parasitic wasps help reduce their impact. Applying floating row covers prevents the flies from laying eggs on the plants.

Disease Prevention

Powdery Mildew: This fungal disease is a white, powdery coating on leaves. To control it, we remove and destroy infected plant material. Improving air circulation and reducing overhead watering also prevent the spread.

Downy Mildew: This disease causes yellow spots and white mold on the undersides of leaves. We can manage it by ensuring proper spacing between plants for air circulation and using fungicides as a last resort.

Fusarium Wilt: Fusarium Wilt causes leaves to yellow and wilt. We use disease-resistant spinach varieties and practice crop rotation to prevent this disease.

Leaf Spot: These dark, water-soaked spots can spread easily. Removing and destroying affected leaves and applying appropriate fungicides limit the spread.

Harvesting and Storage Tips

To get the best from our spinach plants, we need to know the right time to harvest and how to store them well. This ensures we enjoy fresh, nutritious spinach for a long time.

When to Harvest

We should start harvesting spinach leaves when they’re large enough to eat. Typically, this is when the leaves are about 4-6 inches long. Always choose the outer leaves first, leaving the inner ones to keep growing.

When harvesting, pinch or cut the stems close to the base, just above the soil. We need to take care not to damage the growing point. This way, the spinach can keep producing new leaves.

We should check our plants regularly and pick the leaves before they get too big and tough. Young leaves taste the best and are more tender. Harvesting frequently also helps prevent bolting, especially in hot weather.

Proper Storage

Once we’ve harvested our spinach, it’s important to store it properly to keep it fresh. Spinach should be kept cold and moist, between 32°-40°F (0°-5°C), and with a high humidity of about 95 percent.

We can place the spinach in a perforated plastic bag and store it in the vegetable crisper section of our refrigerator. This will help maintain the right humidity.

Spinach that’s stored this way will stay fresh for about 10 days. Before storing, we should dry the leaves by air drying or patting them with a cloth or paper towel. If we have extra spinach, it can be dried using an oven or air drying method to enjoy later.

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