Let’s Plant Spinach

What a great year to be “spinach ” year! If you’ve been overwhelmed by the price of lettuce lately, spinach has become a very attractive alternative for salads. Fortunately for me, I prefer a spinach salad and choose it at salad bars if it’s available. Why not at home, too?

My kids have always liked cooked spinach (we sprinkle on a little vinegar), but, I’m hoping they’ll learn to like it raw. Yes, it has a lot more flavor than iceberg lettuce, (it’s sort of one you either like or don’t), but look at the nutritional benefits (see spinach article). Iceberg lettuce has few calories, but also little nutrition, except that it counts as roughage.

I meant to start some spinach in cardboard egg cartons. I usually get my eggs in styrofoam, but I picked cardboard cartons especially for starting seeds in, paid a little more for the eggs in them, and they are still sitting in my basement. According to the National Garden Center’s instructions, there’s still time:

- Start seeds 3 weeks before planting.

- Fill containers with germinating mix.

- Water mix; let drain.

- In pots, place 2 or 3 seeds in shallow center hole;

cover with mix.

- Water with mister to settle seeds.

- Put pots in plastic bags, close with twist ties to keep moist

- When seedlings emerge (7-10 days), remove bags,

place in direct sun or under fluorescent light.

- When 2 inches high, thin to one seedling per pot.

- In about a week, transplant to outdoor garden or pot

on overcast, calm day.

- Water well.

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