How to Garden Spinach in a Container

When you're short on growing space, container gardening is the way to go, especially with fast-growing greens like (Spinacia oleracea). This cool-season annual thrives in pots outdoors on the patio or in a cool porch area. You can even grow spinach inside as long as the area isn't heated.

Spinach is a fast-maturing edible green that takes between 40 and 52 days to grow from seed to harvest. Grow it in early spring and fall. In mild climates, spinach is a staple in the . Spinach thrives at temperatures between 50 and 70 Fahrenheit.

Container Requirements

Grow spinach in a 4- to 6-inch-deep container that has holes in the bottom for drainage. The width of the container depends on the number of plants you want to grow. Plant seeds in a pot at least 6 to 10 inches around so that you have room to care for one to two mature plants.

You can plant spinach seeds in a container indoors in late winter and move the pot outside in early spring. For larger pots that are too heavy to move around easily, plant the seeds in pots already in place in early spring.

Planting Step By Step

Step 1

Mix standard potting soil with a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer in a bucket or bag. Use 1/2 tablespoons for each gallon of potting soil. To get an idea of volume, consider that a standard 10-inch-diameter pot needs about 2 1/2 gallons of potting soil to fill it.

Step 2

Fill the container with the potting soil and fertilizer blend up to 1 inch below the lip of the pot.

Step 3

Press the seeds into the soil 1/2 <ahref="http:"" homegardening="" scene4c19.html"="" target="_blank"> </ahref="http:>inches deep, and then cover them with 1/2 an inch of soil. Leave 1 inch between the seeds. You can thin them later to make space as the plants mature.

Step 4

Water the soil with a mist or gentle spray setting on the hose to moisten the soil without displacing the seeds.

Step 5

Set the container in a spot where you can keep the temperature within the optimum range for germination -- between 45 and 75 F. Spinach seeds will germinate in soil as cold as 35 F or as warm as 85 F but do so less reliably than when they are within the optimum range.

Step 6

Keep the soil moist by misting it with water when the surface starts to feel dry.

Full Sun to Part Shade

Grow spinach in containers in a full sun or part shade area. Part shade, between two and four hours per day, is adequate, but if you have a spot that gets full sun, six or more hours daily, grow spinach there. Indoors, keep pots in bright light.

Thinning the Seedlings

When spinach seedlings grow 1 inch tall, thin them out, leaving 2 to 6 inches between the plants. To thin, gently pull the unwanted seedlings, being careful not to disturb the rest of the roots.

Watering the Containers

From emergence through the growing season, water spinach in containers when the top 1/2 to 1 inch of soil feels dry. Use your finger to test the moisture by inserting it into the potting soil.