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Spinach is packed with nutrients, such as iron and vitamin C, that can be enjoyed either fresh or cooked. It's really fast to grow and is ready in seven to eight weeks time to harvest. They're also low maintenance and require little care except for watering during dry weather. Spinach is best grown in the colder months, as on hotter days the herb has a tendency to 'bolt', causing a bitter taste.
- 1Decide when to harvest your spinach. Spinach can be harvested whenever you feel like it is ready. You can choose to harvest smaller, 'baby' leaves which tend to have a sweeter taste, or leave the spinach to grow bigger leaves.
- 2Choose an appropriate method. You can either chop the spinach at the base of the stem, or pull the stem right out from the soil. If you want the spinach to regrow again, chop it at the base whilst leaving a bit of stem for it to regrow. If you're lucky, you will have another batch of spinach to harvest.
- Additionally, you can cut the bigger, outer leaves and leave the smaller spinach leaves to grow. This way you'll have yourself another harvest if the rest of the spinach leaves still need time to grow.
- 3Harvest the spinach before any problems occur. The most common problems gardeners encounter is when the spinach leaves turn yellow or "bolt". Be sure to harvest the spinach before then.
- Bolting is when the stems and leaves shoot straight up, failing to form the larger leaves required for culinary purposes. It usually occurs when the climate gets warmer early in the growing season. The spinach prepares to 'flower' and reproduce rather than focusing on leaf production.
- 4Wash the spinach. Bring the spinach inside and then rinse the leaves under the kitchen tap to get rid of any dirt. That way, you won't be using spinach with slug trails or soil all over it.
- 5Get rid of damaged leaves. Any damaged leaves or yellow-colored spinach need to be removed. These leaves are best not eaten and instead should go straight to the compost bin. Or, use broken leaves in a soup or stew where the damage won't be an issue.
- 6Preserve the spinach. Place the leaves in a paper towel in a sealed plastic bag. The leaves should be kept in the fridge and can last for up to two weeks. It's best to use the spinach up by then.
- 7Cut the spinach up. Just before you use the spinach, cut the leaves from the stem. Cut the right amount you want to use and then leave the rest of the leaves attached to the stems. Spinach leaves should only be cut up when you want to use them, otherwise they won't preserve well.Advertisement
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Spinach leaves are ready to be harvested once they’re big enough to eat, or when they’re about 6 inches long. Make sure you harvest them within a week of them reaching their full size so they don’t turn yellow and become bitter. If you only need a small number of leaves, cut the outer, older leaves off at the stem with scissors. Continue working your way to the center of the plant as the leaves grow. If you want to harvest the whole plant, cut it at the base with scissors, then cut the individual leaves. After you harvest your spinach, soak or rinse it with water a few times to remove any dirt. Discard any damaged or discolored leaves.