Let's Grow Spinach!
As they say, 'practice before you preach'. Hence, we started experimenting with growing our own vegetables and, what a truly rewarding experience it has been!
In the month of January, we grew spinach at our home in Gurgaon. It was very easy, although it required our patience. But seeing the beautifully grown spinach leaves and eating them fresh from our kitchen garden was definitely worth it!
Spinach is a superfood because of its high nutritive value. It is a great source of iron for vegetarians. It also contains vitamins A, C and K. It is rich in insoluble fiber, folic acid, calcium, and potassium. Read more about its health benefits here.
Spinach takes roughly 6 weeks to grow in cool weather. We planted ours on January 13th and harvested them on February 26th.
The instructions on how to grow your spinach are very simple to follow:
1. Prepare your container and soil to sow the seeds.
Take a wide tray or any deep container and poke enough holes in the bottom to make sure it is well-draining. Fill it with potting mud and add nutrient-rich soil/manure at the top. Make sure it is loosened up. Get some spinach seeds from a local nursery and plant them about half to one inch deep inside the soil.
2. Keep the soil moist and give it enough sunlight
Spinach needs to be exposed to sunlight and must be watered daily so that the soil is always moist and has a cool temperature.
Now the game is of patience. Look after the plant and ensure to water it daily. Make sure there are no weeds growing. After around a month, you can add some manure. And just wait!
Around the end of six weeks, you should see that your plant has fully grown into spinach leaves. You can harvest it by picking or by cutting individual leaves or harvesting the entire plant at once. After cutting, the spinach leaves should grow back again in a few weeks.
That's it! Growing your own spinach is that easy! Once you have your home-grown spinach leaves, don't forget to use them in some of our healthy recipes, like the Green Smoothie, Spinach and Walnut Muffins, and Healthy Spinach Bread Pakora.
Written by Insha Shah, Volunteer at Foodshaala Foundation.