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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

KNOL: Planting Spinich in Finger Holes: Raised Bed Gardens

Transfered from Google Knols to be stored on my blog.
Spinach is a mainstay of every garden. The easy way to plant it, is by poking your finger into the ground and making a hole. It is simple, fast, and very efficient. This planting design allows you to pick baby spinach, leaves, and allows remaining plants to grow to full maturity. Raised beds are a great way to get things growing.

Planting Spinach in Finger Holes

By Gary Pilarchik LCSW-C
To get daily gardening updates and tips visit my blog The Rusted Vegetable Garden
I plant my spinach quickly and easily by using finger holes to about 1/2 to 1 inch deep. I plant 2 seeds per hole. I make the holes 2 to 3 inches apart in all directions. I use raised beds so I tend to plant things closer together. Raised beds are prepared to have deep loose soil. This allows the roots of vegetables to grow downard and compete less. The bottom line... you can plant more in the raised beds.
The other thing I do is eat my plants thus crowding is not a problem. I never really wait for full maturity on spinach and other greens. They just never seem to reach full size. If both seeds germinate, I let them grow a bit and harvest one for baby spinach.

So cram them together if you have a nice loose raised garden. If they get too cramped... pick them and eat them.

Planting the Spinach & Finger Pattern

The holes are 2 to 3 inches apart. The soil of this raised bed was amended prior to planting with peat moss and composted humus and manure. The garden has been turned, fluffed, and amended. I very easily poked finger holes to create the pattern shown below. The holes should be 1/2 to 1 inche deep. Simply put 2 seeds per hole. The holes were covered with composted manure and watered in. That is it... simple, fast, efficient.

Harvesting Your Spinach

The best way to harvest it is by removing on full plant per hole if 2 come up. Let them grow a bit and havest one whole plant inlcuding the roots. Don't let them get to big. Baby size or like 3 inch leaves.
The remaining plants (1 per hole) should be left to grow to maturity. If you are like me, you like harvesting. Harvest every other plant and you can see by the picture you will end up with plants 4-6 inches apart. These plants can be left to grow to full maturity. It should be every other plant in both directions.

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