A Ton Of Research Provides Insight
Types of spinach seed offerings may include any of the following categories:
Heirloom seeds – These are seeds that have been saved for more than a couple of generations. Once purchased, you can generate your own garden seeds for subsequent growing seasons. Find out how at Heirloom Seeds – The Real Family Treasures.
Organic seeds – These are created without the presence of man-made chemicals (i.e. pesticides, insecticides, fungicides, etc.) – making them a healthy seed. And, healthy seeds grow into healthy plants that produce healthy food for us.
Open pollinated seeds – Seeds that duplicate themselves through self-pollination. They don’t rely on other plants for pollination.
Hybrid seeds – Hybrids are bred from the best and most disease resistant plants. They produce the healthiest veggies and are highly impervious to many routine plant diseases. These seeds, however, are not heirlooms.
These first-class, garden-fresh seeds with an exceptional 80%+ germination rate unless otherwise stated.
A Few Notes
- The spinach seeds from all of these companies, Outside Pride, Burpee, Open Seed Vault, and Ohio Heirloom Seeds, sprout quickly.
- Overall, there is a germination rate well above 80%.
Scarify the seeds for an increased germination rate. Lightly sanded spinach seeds, or seeds that are pre-soaked in water overnight, prior to planting increases the germination rate to just about as close as you can get to 100%. The whole point is to at least scratch the surface of the seed coating making it easier and quicker for the sprouts to emerge.
- Some of these seeds may be more expensive than other producers of spinach seeds. But, the great plant quality is most assuredly worth the extra expense.
- All seeds are non-GMO.
What I Am Planting This Year…
Very tolerant of heat. This vine, a native of India, grows fast. Relatively smooth glistening, dense, dark green leaves with deep red stems. The taste is similar to mild Swiss Chard – not as bitter as regular spinach. With its purplish-red stems, Malabar spinach is also prized for its decorative appearance. Germination should occur within 3 weeks with full maturity coming in 90 days. Most folks experienced a germination rate of at least 85% to 90% without scarifying the seeds. I recommend trellising this spinach to give it direction and room to grow because these vines can grow 10 feet long or more. Once started, Malabar Spinach will grow like crazy! Outside Pride spinach seeds can be ordered in either a 100 seed pack or a more economical 200 seed pack.
Space Hybrid Spinach
Medium size, rounded, dark green leaves having a high resistance to downy mildew and intermediate resistance to leaf spot. Pick them in 40 days. If you freeze them, blanch first and seal in an air tight bag. In mild climates, this variety can be grown year ‘round. These Burpee spinach seeds are your best bet for growing a healthy crop of Space Hybrid Spinach.
Giant Noble Spinach
Super large smooth leaves that are exceptionally crisp and flavorful when eaten raw in salads and smooth as cream when stir fried. They are less tolerant to heat than Malabar or Space Hybrid but, boy, do they produce a ton of leaves for harvest. Ready to pick baby leaves in less than 5 weeks and super duper colossal sized leaves in about 2 months. Open Seed Vault has a longer history and a little better reputation as a provider of quality seeds. But, Ohio Heirloom Seeds are still highly respected and their seeds are quite a bit more economical. This is basically a toss-up in my view so, you make the choice. NOTE: Both Open Seed Vault and Ohio Heirloom Seeds sell Giant Noble spinach as heirloom seeds.
Every one of these smooth leaf varieties is simple and easy to clean except for the Giant Noble which is slightly crinkly but worth the extra cleaning efforts.
Give these spinach seeds a try and let me know how you like them.
For in depth planting information see my growing spinach page.
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