Spinach is one of the most satisfying cool-weather crops to grow, producing large yields of vitamin-rich, dark green leaves that are excellent for salads.and for cooking. Since both hot weather and long days trigger spinach to bolt (send up a seed stalk) quickly, the secret to success with this crop is to start sowing seeds as soon as possible in spring, to make small, frequent plantings during late spring and summer, and to concentrate on fall as the season for the main crop.
Scientific name-Spinacia oleracea
Climate and Soil requirement for growing spinach
Spinach is a winter season crop but can be grown throughout the year. It can also tolerate frost. It can be grown almost on all soils, but sandy loam with pH 7.0 is the best for its cultivation.
Improved Spinach varieties
Punjab Green (1990)
The plants are semi-erect, foliage is shining dark green, thick, long, sweet, succulent and free from the sourness. There is mild purple pigmentation on the stem. It is ready for first cutting after 30 days of sowing and yields on an average 125 q/ acre. This variety is a slow bolter. It has low oxalic acid which is a desirable trait in greens.
Agronomic Practices for Spinach cultivation
Sowing Time and Seed Rate
Winter crop is sown during September-October and spring/summer crop from mid-February to April. Normally palak is grown almost throughout the year. For a winter crop, use 4-6 kg and for summer crop 10-15 kg. of seed per acre.
Seed should be sown 3-4 cm deep in rows at 20 cm apart.
Manures and Fertilizers for Spinach
Apply 10 tonnes of farmyard manure along with 35 kg of N (75 kg of Urea)and 12 kg of P2O5 (75 kg of Superphosphate) per acre to harvest a good crop. Apply whole of farm yard manure, P2O5 and half N before sowing and the remaining half may be applied in two splits after each cutting followed by irrigation.
Irrigation of Spinach
First irrigation should be given immediately after sowing. Subsequent irrigations should be given at an interval of 4-6 days during summer and 10-12 days during winter.
Harvesting of Spinach
The crop will be ready for harvest in about 3-4 weeks after sowing. Subsequent cutting should be done at an interval of 20 to 25 days depending upon the variety and season. During summer only one harvesting should be taken.
A minimum isolation distance of 1000 meter should be maintained all around palak seed field from other varieties. Row to row and plant to plant distance should be maintained at 50 cm x 30 cm. Skipping of one row after every five rows are very essential for field inspection. The minimum three field inspections should be made for getting the true to type seed. The first inspection should be made at vegetative phase, second at bolting stage and thrid before harvesting of the crop. Any off type and diseased plants should be removed. The plants showing variation in leaf characters as well as early and late bolters should be removed.
The crop should be harvested when most of the late ripening seed stalks turn brown. After harvesting, the crop should left in the field for curing and drying for about a week before the seed threshing.
Insect Pests of Spinach
|Pest and Symptoms||Control Measures||Precautions|
|Aphids (Aphis sp.)||Spray 350 ml||Harvest the crop 7|
|Minute insects suck||Malathion 50 EC in||days after spray.|
|Sap from the foliage||80 liters of water per|
|resulting in twisting of||an acre as and when|
|leaves.||the pest is noticed.|
- Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana.
- Rodale’s Organic Life.