Spinach is tasty and healthy. Green vegetables can be used in a variety of dishes. Many people are unaware that there is a large selection of different varieties that also bring considerable yields in the allotment garden. Which harvesting technique is the best? When does the harvest season start? There are a few things to keep in mind when harvesting spinach. We have put together the most important information for you.


True spinach ( Spinacia oleracea ) is an annual plant. It grows herbaceous. Their barely branched stems reach a height of 20 to 50 centimeters. As a vegetable it is widespread in Europe, Asia and Central America. You eat the green leaves. Young leaves can be eaten raw in salads. Spinach leaves are mainly eaten cooked. The flowers and also the stems and roots are not processed, they are not suitable for consumption.

Multiple Harvest

Spinach can be harvested several times a year. If sowed from the end of March, the vegetables will always be ready to harvest from April to June. So if you sow spinach every three weeks from April to mid-May, you can look forward to regular enjoyment.

If you sow again in August, you can harvest the healthy leaves from September to November. The plants are mature just eight weeks after sowing. The leaves have then reached a size of at least 5 centimeters.

Most spinach varieties are hardy, especially the pointed varieties (Spinacia oleracea) tolerate low temperatures. The well-established, robust varieties Matador and Gamma are recommended for winter cultivation. If you grow spinach in the fall, you can expect another harvest in the spring.

Depending on the harvest time, the spinach varieties are

  • spring spinach
  • Summer spinach
  • autumn spinach
  • Winterspinat


Popular varieties are:

  • Matador (spring and fall harvest)
  • Columbia (Summer Harvest)
  • Lazio (summer and autumn harvest)
  • Corvair (Spring, Summer, and Fall Harvest)
  • Emilia (Summer harvest)
Tip: New Zealand spinach, tree spinach, strawberry spinach and Good Heinrich are leafy vegetables that are very similar to spinach. They are prepared in the same way, but do not belong to the Spinacia genus.

harvesting technique

  • Cut the spinach in the evening with a sharp knife
  • only cut the rosette, leaving roots
  • Harvesting the outer leaves and stems will result in new growth inside
  • Harvest of the entire rosette possible
  • harvest in the evening
  • do not harvest during flowering, then a bitter taste develops

Spinach can be harvested in portions over a long period of time. It can be kept fresh in the refrigerator with a damp cloth. If you want, you can also harvest the entire rosette. Spinach needs to be processed within three to four days. It can be perfectly preserved by freezing.

Note: Leave the long taproots of the vegetable plant in the ground after harvesting. This leads to an enrichment of the soil with saponins, which has a beneficial effect on the adjacent crops. You can also let unused leaves rot directly on the bed as green manure.

Nitrate content and harvest time

Spinacia oleracea is one of the nitrate-rich foods, along with Swiss chard, beetroot, radishes, radishes and cabbage. Plants absorb nitrate from the soil and groundwater. Vegetables from conventional agriculture are often additionally enriched with nitrates from fertilizers.

Europe-wide limit values ​​apply in particular to babies and small children. Baby food containing spinach is strictly controlled. High nitrate concentrations in food can also lead to the formation of nitrosamines in the digestive tract of adults. Some nitrosamines are classified as carcinogenic.

For hobby gardeners who grow spinach and chard, the all-clear is clear. An adult weighing about 70 kilograms can eat about 137 grams of spinach daily without fear of impairment. The nitrate concentration of the spinach harvest from your own garden can be reduced by not using nitrogenous fertilizers. Outdoor cultivation is preferable to greenhouse cultivation.

Tip: The nitrate content in spinach is lowest in the evening, because during the day the light supply ensures that the nitrate is broken down. It is therefore advisable to harvest the spinach leaves in the evening.

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