Wondering about how to harvest spinach without killing the plant?
Suppose it’s harvest season, yet you want to keep your spinach growing and producing even after harvesting. How do you make it happen?
Moreover, how can you tell if your spinach is ready to be picked, anyway?
This crop grows quite fast, and it is not uncommon to observe multiple crops in the same season.
So, if you want to harvest without killing the plant, stick around to know how it’s done. Then, you can have spinach growing well throughout the season! Let’s get started.
Is Your Spinach Ready for Harvest?
It is important to know the exact harvesting time for your spinach.
If you pick it out earlier, then you will only be disappointed with the bitter taste. However, if you pick it later during the season, the taste and texture will be subpar.
So, how can you tell the right time to pick it?
Most varieties of spinach should reach maturity between 37 and 45 days. The best way to tell is once the spinach looks more like a rosette, usually with 3 to 4 leaves.
Then again, you want to pick it right before the leaves start to turn yellow. This usually means that it is past its harvest time, which can impact the taste.
Harvesting Spinach Without Killing the Plant
When you harvest spinach correctly, you can allow it to grow back. Then, you can have this crop growing several times a year.
Basically, this crop regenerates leaves from its initial point. This refers to the crown or where the root system and stem mixes right at the surface of the soil.
Harvesting spinach is not at all a complex ordeal. You only need a pair of sharp scissors to cut off the leaves. Make sure it is a couple of inches off the ground and never touching the growing point.
Once you have cut or caused damage to the growing point, this will prevent your crops from growing.
Here is a step-by-step process on how to harvest spinach without killing the plant:
- When the leaves are full and taking the shape of a rosette, it is time to harvest.
- Cut only the outer leaves and be careful as you do so. Use garden scissors and prevent the initial point from incurring damages.
- Save the inner leaves as they can continue growing throughout the harvesting period.
- Pick mature leaves on time; otherwise, the bitter flavor will spread to the other leaves that were not picked.
Harvesting Tips for Malabar Spinach
The best thing about Malabar spinach is that it is quite easy to harvest.
All you need are garden scissors or a knife, which you will then use to cut leaves and new stems that are between 6 and 9 inches in length.
Even if you take the tender stems out, this will not harm the plant. You can also expect the crop to grow new shoots, so your spinach will keep growing.
Malabar spinach is great to eat cooked or raw. You can eat both the shoots and leaves as they don’t turn bitter. Other spinach varieties, however, end up tasting bitter afterwards.
Additional Tips on How to Harvest Spinach Without Killing the Plant
When you harvest your spinach the right way, you can allow it to grow continuously. Then, you can harvest several times during the season.
This is why you need to be very careful about cutting the growing point, which is the most critical portion of this crop. When you keep it in good condition, you should observe a regrowth of the leaves for the second harvest season, usually about 4 weeks after cutting it the first time.
In case the crop does not produce seeds, it is likely for it to continue to produce a couple of regrowth cycles. This allows you to harvest further during a longer period.
You can also harvest a few spinach leaves at a time. It all depends on your preferences and needs.
If all you need are a few leaves, cut off the ones you desire to get. But be sure to leave the inner leaves to let them mature.
Bolting and Harvesting
Basically, bolting happens when your crop is already in the reproduction stage. When it bolts, you will see flowers and seeds already growing.
When this happens, you must remove your crop entirely. But never save the seed from this crop since it is also likely to bolt.
Thus, make sure to eliminate the crops and plant new ones, which should be able to make it during the harvest season.
Harvesting spinach is not as crucial as what it may seem to be.
There are some guidelines to consider to prevent your entire crops from dying after harvesting. Moreover, you need to know the exact time to harvest, which can ensure the finest quality and flavor of your spinach.
By following these tips and suggestions, you should be able to ensure the proper growth, development, and quality of your spinach when it is time to harvest. Then, you can expect a good return on your investment and simply apply these effective techniques each time.