Return to the Vegetable Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Calling Grizzman....Growing spinach from seeds.

Posted by zackey GA 8b (My Page) on
Sun, Jan 29, 12 at 16:09

I have spinach seedlings up after waiting 3 weeks for them to show. Either I didn't leave them in the fridge long enough for cold stratification or it has been too warm for them to germinate. I planted at least 50 seeds in the garden.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Calling Grizzman....Growing spinach from seeds.

What are the temps like? Spinach shouldn't need stratification. I planted Tyee Spinach in mid Spring last year, and they came up. Granted it wasn't like 80 or 90 degrees. It was more around 50-60 degrees.


 o
RE: Calling Grizzman....Growing spinach from seeds.

I was a little surprised by the stratification reference as well. What most determines germination rates are soil temp (not ambient air temps that you get from TV), moisture, and the age of the seed. Spinach prefers more warmth to germinate than to grow, so if your germination is spotty as well as late my guess is that your soil temps are not optimal.


 o
RE: Calling Grizzman....Growing spinach from seeds.

Agree. Never stratified spinach seeds in my life and when the soil temps are in the right ball park it pops up like crazy. When the soil temps are off it won't make any difference whether it had a cold stratification or not.

Dave


 o
RE: Calling Grizzman....Growing spinach from seeds.

Me four on being surprised about the stratification attempt.

Regarding the temps, according to the handy dandy charts in Mel's Square Foot Gardening book, germination percentages and times for spinach at various temperatures are as follows:

32F 83% 63 days
41F 96% 23 days
50F 91% 12 days
59F 82% 7 days
68F 52% 6 days
77F 28% 5 days
86F 32% 6 days
95F 0% -

As one can see, higher temperatures, though bringing shorter germination times also severely penalize the germination rate. Spinach seeds are also not viable as long as many other types of seeds. So at this point, perhaps you want to try planting again, or doing a germination test if you have doubts about the viability of the seeds.


 o
RE: Calling Grizzman....Growing spinach from seeds.

I'm in a similar zone here in SC and usually plant spinach seed about this time...first week of Feb. My soil temp is normally in the mid/upper 50's then and that's ideal for spinach germination. If it's in the 40's than it'll take a long time to germinate (like your 3 wks) and the germination rate will go way down if it's in mid/upper 60's. Should only take 5-7 days to germinate at 55-60F. Maybe you can check your own soil temp at diff times during the day and average. Take temp at about 1/2"-1" deep, since that's where the seed will be. I just use a digital food thermometer. You might be surprised how cool the soil is in Jan even when afternoon air temps are unseasonable mild.

I'll sow spinach seeds in early Feb and then another batch 2 weeks later to spread out the harvest. I'll also stick with varieties that are slow to bolt, esp for that last planting.

Hope that helps some. And yes, no need to stratify.


 o
RE: Calling Grizzman....Growing spinach from seeds.

Mmmmm. I read somewhere that they need the cold stratification. I can't find the source now. Plus my friend said her's germinated better after being in the fridge. Thanks for all the great info. I guess I will try again next year with fresh seeds. Too much going on now with other seeds and stuff.


 o
RE: Calling Grizzman....Growing spinach from seeds.

Germination may be improved by refrigeration because it is a better storage method than on top of the fridge, but there is rarely a reason to stratify annual seeds. Given the opportunity, spinach will likely grow and set seed perpetually if it were grown and acclimated to a climate where annual freezes don't occur.


 o
RE: Calling Grizzman....Growing spinach from seeds.

I live in coastal South Carolina and often have had difficulty germinating spinach seed and then growing it, mostly because of the heat. I always use the Bloomsdale Longstanding variety simply because I like the flavor and texture. I have developed the following method for easy and effective germination because I have a heavy clay soil. Till the soil well and form a bed of the size you want. While tilling mix in fertilizer, presumably according to your latest soil test. Press the soil of the bed down lightly with as large a piece of plywood as you can handle efficiently, not to compress the soil but to flatten it and make it easier to work with. Then use a straight edge such as a piece of lumber (Such as a 1 X 4) to press a furrow into the soil no more than 1/2 inch deep. Make furrows approximately 10-12 inches apart. Sow your seed into the furrows, and sow thickly because you can always thin and seed is cheap. Now the important part: cover the seed lightly but completely with either builder's sand or play sand (sold in 50# bags in Lowes or Home Depot; I prefer the finer play sand). Water well but don't wash away the sand and keep moist by watering daily if the soil is not moist. You will get good germination, the time will depend to a large extent upon the temperature. This method works well on any seed that is considered hard to germinate (Spring onion comes to mind). The sand is the key because it will keep the soil moist where the the seed is but does not form a hard crust.


 o
RE: Calling Grizzman....Growing spinach from seeds.

Concur; Spinach grows well in late winter early spring. and fairly well in the late fall winter in this area of Georgia. Some varieties are more vigorous than others.
Harmony Hellcat Renegade Teton Skookum


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Vegetable Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here