How Many Spinach Plants per Square Foot: Vegetable Spacing

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Spinach is one of the first vegetables you can plant in the spring. Find out how many spinach plants per square foot you can fit in your garden space. Whether you have a square foot garden or an in-ground garden, growing spinach is rewarding, nutritious, and easy!

closeup of spinach in a white bowl

You can plant 4-9 spinach plants in each square foot grid section. Because spinach plants are small plants, you can really maximize you harvest by spacing them close to each other without any negative consequences.

What is square foot gardening?

Square foot gardening is a great way to maximize spinach production on every inch of your gardening space. Learn more about square foot gardening here.

You can have an abundant spinach harvest even in a small space. Reduce your dependence on the grocery story by growing your own spinach.

Mel Bartholomew was the originator of the popular square foot gardening method. He was an American engineer, gardener, and businessman. He adapted techniques to grow a community garden in New York that removed many of the labor intensive aspects of gardening that discouraged many new gardeners. Growing more in less space was his goal.

His methods allowed maximum harvest in small spaces by dividing raised beds into 1-foot squares. These methods maximized the production of the growing area. After developing this new square foot gardening method, he said, “I garden with a salad bowl in mind, not a wheelbarrow.”1 In 1981, he published his first book Square Foot Gardening.

Tips for Growing Spinach Plants in a Square Foot Garden

Spacing Requirements

You can plant 4-9 spinach plants in each square foot of space.

Weather Requirements

Spinach is a cool-season vegetable. The best time to plant spinach in your garden is as soon as the soil can be worked in the early spring. This salad green grows best when soil temperatures are still cool.

Spinach is somewhat frost hardy, but if a hard frost is expected, row covers can be used to protect tender plants.

Spinach prefers temperatures between 35 and 75 degrees. During warm weather, spinach may bolt and become bitter. Early spring and fall are the best times to grow spinach. Try planting spinach after you have harvested some of your heat-loving plants for a late fall crop.

Sunlight Requirements

Spinach prefers full sun, but will still grow well in part shade. As soon as your days are longer than 14 hours in the heat of summer, spinach plants will bolt and the leaves will become bitter. For best results, plant spinach in full sun, but during seasons with cool weather.

Water Requirements

Spinach plants prefer consistently moist soils, but make sure the soil is not waterlogged. Make sure your spinach plants are getting at least 1 inch of water per week.

Best Soil for Spinach

Spinach grows best in well-drained soils rich in organic matter. Spinach prefers soil with a pH between 6.5 and 7. The best way to understand the soil in your garden is to get a soil test.

If your soil is less than ideal in your gardening bed, you can mix in a few inches of compost before planting your spinach seeds.

Mulching Spinach

For weed control and to hold in soil moisture, consider mulching your spinach plants with grass clippings, shredded leaves, or straw. This will also improve your soil as this organic matter breaks down. Mulching any vegetable crop always affords fewer weeds and less watering.

Common Spinach Pests, Diseases, and Problems

  • flea beetles: these small beetles feed on the leaves.
  • spider mites: these mites feed on the leaves.
  • aphids: these bugs feed on the leaves.
  • downy mildew: this mildew can appear during cold, wet weather.
  • white rust: this rust causes white spots on the leaves.

Harvesting Spinach

Spinach can be harvested anytime after it forms leaves. It is best to harvest the outer leaves first. Removing these older leaves will allow the younger inner leaves to grow and be ready for harvest later.

How to calculate square foot gardening plant density: A simple method

  1. Locate the seed spacing number on the back of your seed packet.
  2. Divide the width of your planting area (most likely 12 inches) by the required seed spacing. For example, if your seed spacing was 3 inches, this means you can plant 4 plants across the width of your section.
  3. Divide the length of your planting area (most likely 12 inches) by the required seed spacing. For example, if your seed spacing was 3 inches, this means you can plant 4 plants across the length of your section.
  4. Multiply your two answers together to get the total number of plants you can place inside the planting area. In this example, you could place 16 plants inside each 1-foot x 1-foot section.

FREE Printable Square Foot Gardening Template

This template includes square-foot gardening spacing requirements for all common vegetables grown in the home garden. Plan out your square foot garden grid using this helpful information!

Spinach can successfully be grown in small gardens, a raised bed, or in ground gardens using square foot gardening methods. Growing spinach is the easiest way to add nutrition to your diet and reduce your dependence on the grocery store. Wishing you a bountiful harvest!

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  1. “Bucking Tradition, Gardener Plants High-Yield Squares”. Marjorie Kaufman. March 31, 1996. Retrieved May 20, 2024. ↩︎

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