Q: When can we plant spinach in Northeast Florida?
A: Spinach contains large amounts of minerals and vitamins, especially vitamin A, calcium, phosphorus, iron and potassium. Spinach also has high levels of protein and therefore a wonderful addition to any diet. Ninety-one percent of spinach weight is water. A serving of spinach contains 3.2 grams of protein, 4.3 grams of carbohydrates, and 0.3 grams of fat. It also contains Vitamin A, and C, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin. Calcium, phosphorus, iron, sodium, and potassium are also found in spinach greens. Some specific spinach cultivars to plant are Virginia Savory, Melody, Bloomsdale Longstanding, Tyee, Olympia and Malabar.
Planting should be done in October and November so you definitely asked at the right time! It takes about 45-60 days to harvest. Seeds should be planted about ¾ inch deep. Avoid overhead irrigation to reduce the potential for disease. The biggest insect problems are aphids and leafminers. Aphids and leafminers are best controlled by using ultra fine horticulture oil which can be purchased at most any local garden center. Attached is a publication from the University of Florida/IFAS on Malabar spinach: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mv138