spinach in pots fi

How to Grow Spinach in Pots & Containers

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Spinach is an excellent vegetable to grow year-round – and grows extremely well when you might struggle with other green vegetables. Spinach is one of the most versatile of vegetables, easy to cook easy to use in salads and easy to overwinter.  Spinach is ideal to grow from seed in the UK – Spinach likes cool and wet climates and can be grown in spring and autumn too. Spinach is however quite sensitive to the ground temperature when compared to other vegetables, so you might want to consider either sowing indoors or to make it easier on yourself and grow spinach in pots.

Growing Spinach

You should be able to sow spinach outdoor from mid-March, however, if you are growing spinach in pots, then you will be able to move the post from inside to outside easily.  It’s also possible when using pots to grow spinach to provide insulation around the pots in order to increase the temperature of the compost in which you’re growing the spinach.  Spinach is a vegetable you can plant in July, like these other suggestions.

Why Grow Spinach?

Spinach is an excellent way to keep a lot of Vitamin A and Vitamin C in your diet.   You’ll also find iron and folic acid in Spinach.  Buying spinach can be an expensive business and its why we recommend spinach as an easy vegetable to grow, but also as a great option to grow in order to save money

Where to grow Spinach

One of the great benefits of growing spinach in containers is that you can move them around, depending on the weather conditions.   Spinach grows best during the summer months if you can protect it from the midday sun in soil that retains moisture well.

Growing Spinach

While Spinach does grow year-round there are some varieties that grow better in winter and some that do better in spring.  You’ll want to check out our section on which varieties of spinach to grow to work out what’s best for your garden.   Spring spinach should be sown outdoors in March and winter spinach varieties should be sown in August.  (Read more about what to plant in August here) That said, you can sow most spinach variety seeds at any time between March and September.   Spinach takes about 60-90 days to harvest.

Best Spinach Varieties

You’ll want to decide which variety of spinach to plant-based on when you sow when you harvest and how resistant they are to both bolting or disease.  These are the main varieties of spinach available in the UK

Amazon:  Great for repeated harvesting, so you’ll want o pick young and early. The Amazon variety of Spinach has good resistance to both disease and bolting.  Usually a dark green colour.

Barbados:  lots of small leaves on this spinach which tends to be rather compact and which stands upright.

Lazio:  easy to harvest when young, or older, this is the spinach that you will normally find in the supermarket sold as baby spinach.  Quick producer.

Palco: an excellent choice that can be planted all year round.

Perpetual: good winter spinach, so sow in September, or even later in August.  Can be grown as a perennial vegetable too.   It works well in cold climates. > buy seeds here

Red-veined:  as the name suggests, there are red veins in this, which makes it look great in salads.  You’ll get baby leaves in just 35 days.  Excellent for winter.

Best Growing Conditions for Spinach

Make sure you have a good compost for growing spinach in pots (more on compost for vegetables here), as Spinach grows much better when the nutrients are present in the soil.  If you’re using soil from the ground or older compost, then add some fertilizer or plant food.  You’ll want a decent amount of sunlight for growing spinach but not the hottest part of the day.  If you get a very hot period, give the plants some shade.  Be sure to water regularly, but avoid soggy soil as this will give you spinach mould and other diseases.

grow spinach in pots

How to Grow Spinach in Pots Easily

Pick a pot that is about 20 centimetres deep, you will usually want to give each plant about 8 centimetres distance between spinach plants, but you can reduce this to 5 centimetres if you’re going to harvest early and keep them small.  We also recommend growing carrots in pots, read this article here.

The Best Growing Spinach Containers

As we’ve just mentioned above the best pots to grow spinach in are going to be about 20 centimtres deep.  Each plant needs at least 5 centimetres – if you’re going to harvest early.    Here are some of the best options for containers to grow spinach in. 

When to Plant Spinach in Pots

If you are planting spring spinach, then plant in March, although you can also succession sow spinach to provide a regular supply.  Winter spinach should be planted in August/September.  From October you’re likely to need a little protection against the weather, so consider a mini greenhouse or a cloche.

Caring for Spinach

Spinach is an easy plant to grow.  Growing spinach in pots or containers actually helps deal with snails and slugs, by making it harder for them to get into the pot, but you’ll want to check regularly, especially when the plants are young.

Spinach grown in pots doesn’t need a huge amount of care.  Do not waterlog the container, and don’t let it go dry, but rather keep the compost somewhat moist.  If your spinach plants are left dry they will bolt and this causes the leaves to taste bitter and unpleasant.

How to Harvest Spinach

Baby leaves of spinach will tend to be produced after about 35 days, by 40-50 days you’ll get about 6 leaves.  Spinach is one of the fastest growing vegetables – here’s a bunch of others that we recommend growing.  Harvest spinach from the outer leaves first, working inwards.  Harvest regularly and you’ll find that the leaves grow back quickly.  You can harvest a whole spinach plant at one by cutting it 7-8 centimetres above the ground with scissors or a knife.  The plant will grow back, but obviously a bit slower.

growing spinach in pots

How to Store Spinach

Before you store any spinach you should rinse off the leaves.  You can store spinach in the fridge for about a week.  Make sure it is fully dry before putting in the fridge.  You can dry spinach and freeze spinach and it will keep for use throughout the year.

How to Grow Spinach in Containers FAQs

Got questions about growing spinach? Or want to know how to grow spinach in a pot and we haven’t answered your questions?  Check out our frequently asked questions about growing spinach in pots and containers below, or ask us yours in the comments.

Can I grow spinach in a pot?

Yes. If you want to grow spinach UK wide then this is one of the easiest ways to grow it.   Planting spinach in pots and growing spinach in the UK is a easy way to increase the vegetables you grow without a lot of hassle.

What are the common problems growing spinach?

Bolting spinach is one of the most common problems with the plant this happens because the soil is too dry and it makes the leaves taste unpleasant and bitter.  Choosing to grow spinach in pots means that you’ll likely avoid any problems or pests like slugs or snails, but do check

How much spinach should I grow?

Spinach is an excellent source of Vitamins A and C as well as iron, so grow as much as you can!  Spinach is easy to grow, and its also easy to freeze as well.  As you can use spinach as a salad leaf and also as a vegetable accompaniment it is very versatile, you can use it to replace other vegetables.  15 plants should be a good number for a two adult and two children family.

Can I grow spinach inside?

Yes, it is easy to grow Spinach inside, you will need to find a sunny spot for it, where it can also get a little shade during the heat of the day.

How long does spinach take to grow?

Spinach can be ready to harvest baby salad leaves in about 35 days.  A fully grown plant will take to about 45 to 50 days.  This is growing spinach from seed.

Is it possible to be growing spinach year round?

While spinach has a short growing season it isn’t always hardy enough to grow year round in the UK.  If you have a polytunnel or a mini greenhouse, or a locaiton to grow spinach inside then this may help.  If you want to grow spinach year round then look at perpetual spinach, which is part of the beet family, but shares a similar taste to that of spinach.  It is much hardier and is a perennial vegetable, lasting more than one year and producing a new crop when you pick it.  Perpetual spinach tends to prefer colder weather and you’ll probably want to trim the leaves on a regular basis in order to improve the flavour.

Does this article cover growing perpetual spinach in pots?

Yes, absoutely.   We do this all the time  we’re growing our perpetual spinach in pots, so that we can move it to the best growing position and we have no issues at all with it.

Is spinach difficult to grow?

No, spinach is not difficult to grow, especially in pots.

What are good companion plants for spinach?

Spinach is a great companion plant for onions, peppers, strawberries, other salad leaves as well as herbs such as parsley, dill, sage and chives

How long does spinach keep for?

Spinach doesn’t keep well in the ground.  Harvest at 45-50 days.  You can then clean and dry the spinach leaves and keep them in the fridge for about a week.  If you plan on storing spinach for longer you will want to dry it or freeze it as soon as possible after harvesting.

Can I freeze spinach?

Yes. Spinach is an excellent leaf to freeze.  For more on freezing spinach, check out this article.  Don’t forget that spinach shrinks hugely when cooked!

Final words on growing spinach in pots

Growing spinach is an excellent way to save a lot of money – it’s an expensive vegetable to buy from the supermarket comparative to other vegetables.  Growing and eating your own spinach is an excellent way to increase your intake of vitamin C and vitamin A as well as folic acid and iron.   Add to that the fact that spinach is one of the more diverse vegetables – you can use it as a main meal dish, a vegetable accompaniment or a salad leave, plus endless smoothies contain spinach, then it’s a great option to add to your vegetable garden.

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