I love spinach and grow it. A pile of steamed spinach with pat of butter sends me into convulsions.
I never seem to be able to plant enough spinach seeds. Once harvested, a huge number of leaves is necessary for a good sized portion.
I plant spinach twice a year, spring and fall. Spinach bolts in hot weather. It is a cold weather crop. But, I carry this to the extreme and harvest in winter as well. The spring crop is slow to start. This is because it puts most of its energy into growing deep taproots. It relies on a water supply below the ground surface.
I like the savoy variety. Savoy means crinkly leaves. The spinach leaves have texture which is gone after ten minutes of steaming. It takes a lot of plants to supply enough for my wife and I. each plant has a rosette of leaves. I always clip ( don’t pluck) the two biggest leaves which allows for more growth. I can harvest leaves for two months in spring, and again two months in fall. I start in spring when the soil is loose and cold. As the seeds sprout and growth starts, the progress slowly speeds up. Being impatient, I inspect my spinach every day and water and weed. I like Johnnies Seed Company.
I protect the plants in winter by putting mini-greenhouses over the plants. Any clear plastic container works. I cut the bottoms off quart seltzer bottles and pop them over the plants.
Today, January 15th 2017, I harvested enough leaves for two small portions. Growth is slow but none of the plants have died despite sub freezing temperatures. Although it is considered a tender leaf crop, my spinach, with their life-saving bubble greenhouses will produce all winter long. Although considered an annual, my spinach keeps on going.