Spinach is one of the lovely early crops that you can plant. It will germinate in even colder soil than will peas, but still it has a reputation of being hard to germinate, so two days ago I put half the spinach seed from my packet onto a paper towel. I dampened the towel and put it in a little baggie. I didn't close the end of the bag so it would have some air. I wanted the seeds to start germinating, not rotting. Spinach is one of those plants that hates to be transplanted. It will often bolt prematurely when moved. So my solution is to presoak the seed and put them in the soil just as the first little roots start to appear. That was today. Maybe 5% of the seeds had roots starting. Most of the rest had started swelling. Perfect.
Today with the sun shining on a most beautiful St. Patrick's Day, I dug the bed over. This is the bed that will be my three sister's garden. I'm planting the spinach where the squash will go on the south half of the 4' wide bed. The north half will have my corn and beans planted in them. The corn will need to be planted soon enough, so I made sure I left enough room for it. Or I tried. I found I had way too much seed and made another row. Well if it gets dug up in a few weeks, so be it. Maybe I'll get a little baby spinach out of it.
I ended up planting two sections of spinach. The first was 5 4' rows of spinach, each row 6" apart. The second was much smaller about 2'x2'. The seeds were placed 3" apart in the row. I'm assuming half of them won't germinate, so hopefully I'll get plants about 6" apart in most directions. If not who cares. It was extra space I wasn't using anyway. It just cost me $1.98 to try it. In the last row I put the seed 1" apart since I had so much left over. Hmm maybe I should have prepared a bigger bed or soaked just half the seed.
Just so you know, I've had great difficulty in the past with spinach. We have a streetlight right near the garden. I've always wondered if that was what made my spinach bolt prematurely all the time. Maybe or maybe it was something else. Luckily I noticed the streetlight was out the other night (shhhhhh, don't tell the town until June and the spinach is gone). I'm also going to grow the larger spinach plot under remay to keep any insects off, just in case that was the real issue. If it is something in the soil, well none of them will grow well. For two bucks, it is worth the effort, and I still have seed to try again this fall.