Spinach has been used for so much of human history, that its exact origin is speculative. However, it is believed to be native to ancient Persia and to have been carried by Arab traders into India where it spread through the Far East. The earliest existing record of spinach is in Chinese where it is described as being introduced there from Nepal in about 650 AD. By about 800 AD, it had started to become established and incorporated into Mediterranean cultures and diets, moving into Spain in the 12th century, and into England and France by the 13th. It became popular in Europe partly because it emerged early in the spring when other fresh vegetable crops were scarce.
Spinach is a cool weather crop that bolts when the season gets hot. For the best chance at spring success, seeds must be started as early as possible for your area. Click here for planting and harvest information.
Each packet contains four grams, which is approximately 300 seeds.
Click on variety's picture or name below for more information and quantity pricing options (where available).
There are three primary categories or types of spinach. They are:
Savoy: These varieties have dark-green, crinkled and curled leaves. You often see this type of spinach in your local grocery store being sold by the bunch. Most of the heirloom spinach varieties that we offer fall under this category.
Semi-savoy: This category tends to produce slightly crinkled leaves that have the same texture as Savoy-types but tend to be easier to clean and process. Varieties in this category are commonly grown commercially for fresh market and processing use. 'Giant Winter' is one example of a semi-savoy variety.
Flat or Smooth-leaf: These varieties tend to have broad, smooth leaves that are easier to clean than Savoy types. They are often grown for the processing industry to be used for baby food, soups, and other processed canned and frozen foods.
Start seeds indoors about six weeks prior to your last expected frost of the season. Once that danger has passed, plant your seedlings into the garden three to six inches apart. If you choose to direct sow, remember that as a leafy green, spinach requires a spot in the garden with fertile soil, enriched with organic matter high in nitrogen. In order to harvest before they go to seed, sow the seeds as early as ground can be worked.
Although it is very tricky to have decent quality spinach in the heat of the summer, you can sow again in late August for a fall crop. Sow thinly, about ¼ to ½-inch deep. Thin seedlings to one to three inches apart and then once established, to a final spacing of about six inches.
Harvest leaves as soon as they are big enough to eat. When the plant is starting to look old, cut whole plant back to one to two inches high to stimulate growth. If they begin to bolt, harvest and freeze the whole crop.