When to Plant Spinach

Young spinach plants

Sow spinach seeds in the garden as soon as the ground is workable in spring. If you wait, warm weather and long days will trigger seed stalk formation and the leaves will become bitter tasting.

Spinach seeds will germinate in cool soil. Days at 60°F (16°C) and nights as low as 40°F (4°C) is warm enough for spinach.

Sow seeds directly in the garden 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost in spring. Start transplants indoors 4 to 6 weeks before setting them in the garden; transplants can go in the garden 3 to 6 weeks before the last frost.

Sow seeds for a fall harvest about 65 days before the first expected fall frost.

Spinach seed germination

Spinach seeds germinate in 7 to 14 days. You can speed germination by soaking seeds overnight in a dilute vinegar/water solution before sowing. Sow seeds at ½ inch deep.

Spinach will grow in a wide range of soils but will grow best in well-drained, sandy loam. Spinach wants full sun but will tolerate partial shade. Mulch around spinach with aged compost to keep the soil cool and moist; this will encourage good growth and stall bolting.

Spinach growing in the garden
Spinach plants growing in the vegetable garden

Spinach seed sowing dates

(These dates are for the Northern Hemisphere)

Average date of the last frostPlanting dates
Jan. 30Jan. 1-Feb. 15
Feb. 8Jan. 1-Feb. 15
Feb. 18Jan. 1-Mar. 1
Feb. 28Jan. 1-Mar. 1
Mar. 10Jan. 15-Mar. 10
Mar. 20Jan. 15-Mar. 15
Mar. 30Feb. 1-Mar. 20
Apr. 10Feb. 15-Apr. 1
Apr. 20Mar. 1-Apr. 15
Apr. 30Mar. 20-Apr. 20
May 10Apr. 1-June 15
May 20Apr. 10-June 15
May 30Apr. 20-June 15
June 10May 1-June 15
Spinach with seed stalks
Warm temperatures will cause spinach to bolt, sending up seed stalks; the leaves will become bitter

Spinach planting details

  • Sowing depth: ½ inch (1.2 cm)
  • Space between plants after thinning: 3-6 inches (7.5-15cm)
  • Days to sprout: 7-14
  • Days to harvest: 40-55
  • Storage period: 1-2 weeks
  • Seeds per 100-row feet: 2 ounces (28 grams)
  • Yield per 100-row feet: 50 pounds
  • Suggested varieties: Longstanding Bloomsdale, Popeye’s Choice, Nores, Packer, Marathon

Related articles of interest:

How to Grow Spinach

Spinach Seed Starting Tips

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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