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Growing Spinach Seeds

Spinach is a cool season crop, developing at its best when growth is quick and continuous. Provide full sun, cool nights and plentiful water supply. Spinach prefers well-drained soil with humus content; its culture is similar to that of lettuce.

Sow seed as early in the spring as the ground can be worked, in rows about a foot and a half apart. Seedlings can be thinned to about one foot. Leaves should be ready to harvest in four to five weeks. An additional planting can be made on August first for a second crop.

Good varieties to plant are Melody Hybrid, which is disease-resistant; Avon Hybrid, which is heat-resistant; Bloomsdale Long-Standing, heat-resistant and slow to go to seed.

Insect pests to look for are flea beetles, aphids, and leafhoppers. Control these by using malathion, or a general purpose spray or dust containing malathion, and be sure to follow the manufacturer's directions.

Diseases often occur in plants that are crowded, and an be spread by insects in some cases. General clean cultivation, aphid control, and the planting of resistant varieties is a good idea. The fungus disease downy mildew can be controlled by preparations containing maneb or zineb. The virus yellows can also be a problem, but the general steps mentioned above will help to keep this problem to a minimum.

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Read the next Article: Seed Starting Basics

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Gardening Tip of the Day

  • If you received a flowering amaryllis plant for the holidays, you can make it bloom again next year around the holiday time.

    After the flowers fade, cut just the flower stalk to about 2 inches above the soil level. Continue watering when soil becomes dry. Regularly fertilize the plant with a houseplant formula such as 5-5-5 or 5-10-5 following directions on the fertilizer package. After about six months of allowing the foliage to grow, stop fertilizing and begin to reduce watering over a 2- to 3-week period. After this period, stop watering. Eliminating water and fertilizer allows the bulb to enter a dormant or resting phase. Move the pot to a dry, cool (50 to 60 degrees F.) room that has good ventilation for 2 to 3 months.

    Sometime in early November, move the pot to a bright, warm spot and renew watering. In anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks, the amaryllis should flower again.