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Planting Spinach

March 27th, 2013

It’s official, the 2013 edible gardening season has begun.  I have already planted lots of seeds, mostly for onions and herbs, but the season doesn’t officially start for me until I plant seeds in real soil in the garden.  On Monday, I spent time planting a large section of spinach.
planting spinach 1
Of course, I couldn’t just plant spinach seed, curiosity always gets the best of me.  It’s a common theory that soaking certain seeds will make them germinate faster.  Soaking them in a diluted kelp liquid is supposed to make them germinate even faster yet.
planting spinach 3
On Monday there were a few different cups of spinach seeds soaking, one in plain water, on in diluted liquid kelp.  I planted both 12 rows of each of these and 10 of unsoaked seed. What variety of spinach did I plant? ‘Space’ from Johnny’s Seeds, which is supposed to be a good cold tolerant spinach.
planting spinach 2
I must admit, I hope that the regular seed germinates just as fast, soaking seeds is a bit of a pain.  It’s much more difficult to plant wet seeds with precision.  Drying them on a paper towel first helped a lot, the seeds were much easier to handle when they weren’t dripping with water.  It is still a little inconvenient to do this, especially if you’re planting a large section of spinach.
planting spinach 4
After planting, the row was covered with greenhouse plastic over hoops.  This is the same bed that was covered last week before the snow to help the soil stay dry and warm for planting.  It’s amazing the difference this made, had I not done this, there would be no planting of spinach until most likely 2 weeks from now.  The soil in the rest of the garden is still frozen solid and covered with a few inches of snow.  It will take a while for the snow to melt and the ground to thaw and dry out enough for planting seeds.

Do you ever soak seeds before planting them?  Do you notice quicker germination?

8 Comments to “Planting Spinach”
  1. Chris on March 27, 2013 at 5:50 am

    Just letting you know that I’m about 150 south of you ( in RI ). We’re fully thawed, beds are turned and composted…so keep your head up. Your right behind us..

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  2. Jennifer Fisk on March 27, 2013 at 7:32 am

    I have soaked beans and peas in the past. Last year I didn’t and I think I got sturdier plants by allowing in soil germination.
    It’s snowing again. Welcome to another nice spring day in paradise. LOL

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  3. KimH on March 27, 2013 at 8:33 am

    The only seed I soak is okra.. Last year I pulsed them thru the food processor a couple times to nick the hard outer layer just before I soaked them in very hot water for an hour or more right before I planted them.
    They’re notoriously difficult unless you keep them very damp and while Ohio isnt a normal habitat for okra, it can be grown with a little bit of care.. I’d never gotten it to come up here in the past until I did these two things.

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  4. daisy on March 27, 2013 at 8:44 am

    I have never soaked seeds before sowing, but I’d like to try it. I’m sure you are so glad to be planting again!

    Reply to daisy's comment

  5. Annie on March 27, 2013 at 9:58 am

    I’ve tried soaking various seeds (onion, okra etc) and never really got consistent or noticeable enough results to make it worth the continued effort.

    Reply to Annie's comment

  6. Terri on March 27, 2013 at 10:38 am

    When I have small seeds to plant I make my own “seed tape” using 1 ply toilet paper and a paste made from flour and water. I use a cake decorating container with a small tip and put drops of the flour/water paste on a long sheet of the toilet paper, and then place my seeds on. Sometimes it gets carried right to the garden and planted, and other times I let it dry for awhile before planting. It makes it much easier and more precise for spacing.

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  7. Maybelline on March 27, 2013 at 10:39 am

    The only seeds I soak are sweet peas. And that’s if I remember.

    Reply to Maybelline's comment

  8. Jennifer Krieger on March 28, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    I rarely comment here, but I read your post every day. I’m in Los Angeles, so it’s a different climate entirely, in fact I just ate spinach from my garden and it was marvelous! On the other hand, come the heat the spinach will bolt immediately!
    (I love maple syrup, too)

    Reply to Jennifer Krieger's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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