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Author Topic: Getting spinach to germinate - any tips?  (Read 2192 times)
seansmum
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Posts: 750

Queensbury, NY. Zone 4-5


« on: August 06, 2011, 12:27:01 PM »

I have been trying to get spinach started for my fall planting with absolutely no luck. Do any of you have any tips or ideas what I'm doing wrong? I've been trying in an air conditioned room under T5 grow lights. Thanks.
Sue
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jimmyjohnnyjoe
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Posts: 182

Zone 6B


« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2011, 02:43:04 PM »

Hi, I have no experience trying to start spinach seedlings but I plan to start trying soon. I heard spinach can be hard so I have been researching it and have found a few things.  Some things I found out:

Use fresh seed. Seed over a year old has only an 80 per cent germination rate and older seeds are even less likely to grow. Fresh seed germinates quickly at around 50 degrees and adequately at around 60 degrees.

Chill seeds for summer or fall plantings in the refrigerator for 1 or 2 weeks before planting (I guess this simulates winter conditions).

I also have heard some people soak their seeds for some time period (overnight I think) before putting them into the sprouting medium.

I wish I knew more. I hope some of that helps.
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gardendoc
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Ocean Springs, MS Zone 9a


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« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2011, 03:00:12 PM »

I have a green thumb with most, but spinach gives me fits. There's no need to chill if you are using some of those store bought seeds.  I take the seeds and put in a ziplock with a moist paper towel.  When the radicle starts to emerge I transfer to a 72-cell plug tray to grow out. 
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CathyRose
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Posts: 164


Owings, MD Zone 6-B


« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2011, 03:42:25 PM »

Good information to know. Spinach is on my list for the fall plantings.
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jmstevens2
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Posts: 215

SW Ohio Zone 6


« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2011, 09:14:35 PM »

Me too.
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If I remembered half of what my grandmother taught me, I would not need this computer!
seansmum
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Posts: 750

Queensbury, NY. Zone 4-5


« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2011, 09:40:22 AM »

Thanks so much for your responses. I have plenty of seeds so I will try both the paper towel and chilling method. If that doesn't work I give up.
Sue
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bobk
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Posts: 1319


West, Central FL - Zone 9b


« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2011, 07:24:38 PM »

Once the weather has cooled I direct seed into the EB, this has worked out the best for me.
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Sowing outside the box but still in the box.
baileyj
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Posts: 1457


Zone 7A--- Annapolis, Maryland


« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2011, 08:55:35 PM »

Last year in September I planted Vital Green Spinach directly in 3 EBs.
I had no problem with them germinating in the EB. I harvested 2 boxes and the last box (poor thing) was left to overwinter, (not by design).  Embarrassed
In mid February the spinach in Box 3 perked up and I harvested it in March.   
So...February 15th I planted 2 more boxes--direct seed.  Those 2 boxes put out great spinach until 5/24 when it was getting hot, so I pulled both boxes. 
It may be too hot right now to start in NY, I know it is here. 
I have never had good luck trying to start spinach for transplanting....but direct seeding seems to work well--at least with Vital Green Cheesy
I am planning to put in 5 boxes this labor day...it was the best spinach we have ever had !!!
Judi
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mjb8743
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Posts: 6850


Zone 7, South NJ, Garden State


« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2011, 09:28:32 PM »

I usually plant my leafy greens in tote bins to conserve my EBs for bigger crops. Three days ago, I planted 3 spinach totes: Melody, Winter Giant, and Oriental Giant. This morning, I was shocked to see a few Oriental Giant sprouts. So far, the others haven't shown anything. It's been in the 90's during the days and high 70's at night.

My seeds are not new, and I did nothing special. In fact, during this brutal summer heat, my seed box sat on the floor in my non-air conditioned living room. So... we shall see what comes up .

Mickie
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111 EBs and growing... so how come there are never enough boxes??
Eric-02476
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Posts: 100

Zone 6A Eastern MA


« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2011, 09:32:25 PM »

The paper towel method works flawlessly for me. Not only does it germinate spinach far more reliably than in planting cells or direct sowing, but it compensates for low germination rates on older seed because you only use the ones that do sprout. I use tweezers to move the just-germinated seeds to the growing container. Just be sure to check it daily after a few days, because once they do germinate, they can grow into the paper towel fibers really quickly.

Eric
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