My Spinach Garden Experiment

The two week update ... it's been 17 days since I planted the spinach and put a row cover over it for protection from the night cold.  So far, I'm pleased with the results.


I started reading my book by Eliot Coleman yesterday - The Winter Harvest Handbook.  Fascinating.  I mean, seriously, I'm really enjoying this book.  

His intro chapters give a history on winter planting - this is nothing new even though it may sound revolutionary to us.  Through the ages, in some form or another, mankind has sown and harvested garden vegetables throughout the winter.  Between 1850 and 1900, there were multitudes of "market gardens" in Paris, France.   

"Hotbeds heated with decomposing horse manure and covered with glass frames allowed the growers to defy the cold and produce fresh salads in January and early cucumbers and melons in May and June."

This horse manure, mixed with straw, came from the city stables and thus helped create a sustainable garden by composting a by-product.

Heck, we can do that.  We got lots of horse manure here.  :-)

Did you know that spinach is one of the top cold-hardy plants? It actually prefers cooler weather.  I didn't know that!

My spinach should be ready to harvest near Day 42 which would be about November 7.  Our days will shorten to less than 10 hours of daylight around November 27-29.  We'll start extending beyond 10 hours about January 13.  During that period, seeds would have difficulty germinating, and already established plants would slow down growth.  They need 10 hours or more of daylight to continue a standard growth pattern.

I'm anxiously checking on my lil green babies every day!

19 comments:

  1. I think your experiment is wonderful. Why don't you send some fresh spinach out our way when it's ready?

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  2. Very, very cool! I will be very interested to see how your experiment turns out! Best of luck & please keep us posted. Cheers!

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  3. I didn't know that about spinach..how cool...

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  4. Let me know when "it's salad" and I'll be there. I like mine with candied pecans:)

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  5. I am so excited for you, growing anything is so rewarding. Nothing better than the satisfaction of feeding yourself and those you love with something that you know exactly where it came from. You have motivated me, on my list for today, Spinach seeds, since it is just beginning to cool off here in Florida.

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  6. Don't let the heat out by looking too often...

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  7. ***Sobs*** I really want spinach!

    :)

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  8. Glad to hear your spinach is doing well Susan. Nice work!

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  9. Well, I learned something new today!! Even though I've been working with these farmers around us, I did not know spinach preferred cold weather xD

    I can't wait to see when it's harvested!

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  10. I love it. I chopped some spinach to garnish the soft scramble taco eggs this morn'. Sure made 'em pretty and they tasted good too!

    Now, sit down girl. I finally posted your sweet baby giveaway. No really...I did...go check it out and let me know if I need to change anything.

    Have a beautiful weekend full of special blessings!!!

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  11. I'm so jealous. I have a total brown thumb and can't grow anything that doesn't thrive on neglect.

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  12. I LOVE reading about it? It sounds fantastic..and like a lot of fun..but when it comes to doing it..something happens. I just go read a blog that LOVES to grow things and never get any further then that.
    Nezzy is overjoyed with her baby you sent to her. :) What a great giveaway!! Made me smile just to listen to her.

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  13. My Ohio garden is finished for the season. We picked 28 green peppers yesterday and the last of the green tomatoes but we made a trip to the orchard bought a bushel of Winesap apples. So still have work to do LOL

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  14. The garden looks ... promising.

    Hey, read over today's posting of mine... Any chance you and a date can make a night in the suburbs of KC???

    Date is subject to change right now, but trying to get my favorite almost locals interested

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  15. It is fun to grow things isn't it? First thing every morning take your cup of coffee and wander out to the garden and see what happened since yesterday. I didn't know you could raise spinach in the winter time. And Kansas isn't all that warm is it? Course I've never lived farther south than lower Michigan or is Denver more southern? Good for you. I love your enthusiasm.

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  16. I thought only Popeye did spinach - hate the stuff :)

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  17. just caught up with your blog after ages!!
    your chicken coop!!! its the size of my bloody COTTAGE
    x

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  18. Putting in a fall or winter crop is a great idea and spinach fresh from the garden is tops - I love it wilten in a pan with a little olive oil some onion and a wee bit of garlic - yum yummy!!! Unfortunately my back didn't allow much gardening this year - just tomatoes - perhaps by next spring I'll be more healed and ready to tackle gardening again --- I miss it so! xoxo

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  19. It must be so satisfying to have such obvious results for your efforts. And just to think, you'll then be able to eat it!

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