Most modern adults grew up with some version of Popeye in their lives – you know, that silly, big-forearmed sailor with the skinny girlfriend? And what gave Popeye the boost he needed? Spinach.
Now, unlike Popeye, we don’t suddenly become superhuman just by eating some spinach. But this superfood is actually full of nutrients your body can use. So although it won’t make help your arms bulge immediately, it is certainly beneficial for you. And it’s easy enough for you to grow it in your own backyard. Curious to learn more?
Here’s how to grow spinach in four steps:
Step #1: Know the Right Time to Grow
Plants grow best in the summer, right? Not always. Some plants are actually better in cool weather, and spinach is one such plant. Don’t bother planting it in July. Instead, it’s recommended you plant six weeks before the first frost of the winter, or six weeks before the last frost in the spring. That way, the spinach will have time to grow in the cool (but not freezing) temperatures.
Step #2: Prepare the Soil
Spinach grows best in nutrient-rich soil, so be sure to use some fertilizer, compost or other plant food to help them flourish. Also, the soil needs to be well-drained, so you might consider an elevated garden bed. Finally, the spinach should be in full view of the sun as much as possible. Although high heat is bad for spinach, full sunlight is not.
Step #3: Plant the Spinach
If you’re using seeds, it’s recommended that you plant them about half-an-inch deep and space them out every two inches. But if you’re starting with actual plants, you should put them about 12-inches apart.
Step #4: Tend to the Spinach and Watch it Grow
Now your spinach is ready to roll! Water it regularly and don’t worry about fertilizing too much. Spinach grows pretty well without constant care (after initial planting). Once the leaves reach a suitable, edible size (after about six weeks), you can simply pluck them off and eat them (probably wash them first, though).
The outer leaves are the best ones, and you shouldn’t let them grow too large; otherwise, they can taste bitter. Now you’re ready to be just like Popeye!