Annual spinach is hardy and quick-growing, and is a useful catch-crop plant between rows of other vegetables.
It is a nutritious vegetable high in vitamins A and C.
With prudent selection of summer and winter varieties it is possible to harvest spinach for most of the year.
Prepare the bed by deep digging, and work in a liberal amount of well rotted manure/compost.
To prevent the plants running to seed, site the bed in partial shade.
Rake in a top dressing of any balanced fertiliser at a rate of 100gms. (4oz) per sq.m.
If ground conditions allow, make the first sowing outdoors, then make successional sowings at two or three-week intervals until early August (Week 33).
Sow the seeds thinly in 25mm (1") deep drills, allowing 300-400mm (12"-16") between rows.
Germination should take around one week.
Thin the seedlings when they are large enough to handle to avoid overcrowding.
Thin them initally to 75mm (3") apart when they are 50-75mm (2"-3") tall, then later to 150mm when they are about 150mm (6") tall, these thinnigs but can be eaten if you wish.
Finally thin out and eat alternate plants to leave the remaining plants to grow on.
When harvesting mature plants, do not strip a plant of all of its leaves, pick only the largest leaves as they become ready.