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If you are anything like me, until you stared gardening, it never occurred to you that there could be different types of spinach.
Gardening and growing my own food has introduced me to a whole new world when it comes to vegetables.
And if you are new to gardening you probably just thought that spinach is the flat stuff you see in the grocery store. But there is so much more available than what you see in the store.
You might be thinking, but isn’t all spinach the same? It is not. There are different types of spinach you can grow in your garden. In this post we go over the popular varieties of spinach that gardeners choose most often to grow.
Spinach has always been touted as a health food. And it has loads of nutrition for such a small little leaf.
Growing up I only knew of spinach as that flat green leaf we all see in the bagged salads. It wasn’t until visiting a local farmers market a few years back that I discovered this weird looking curly leaf spinach that actually had some great flavor. That began my delving into the world of different spinach types.
Is All Spinach the Same?
There are 3 main spinach varieties:
- Savory Spinach
- Semi-Savory Spinach
- Smooth Leafed Spinach
This type of spinach is also known as curly-leaf spinach. The leaves of savory spinach are crinkly looking and curly.
Each spinach leaf on a savory spinach plant is about five to six inches long. This size makes it popular for adding to salads.
Savory spinach is the more productive variety of spinach you can grow.
It is able to handle cold temperatures better than semi-savory of flat leaved spinach varieties.
Savory spinach has a distinct flavor and texture compared to other spinach types.
Semi-Savory Spinach, when it comes to flavor, is like savory spinach.
This type of spinach grows a bit more upright than savory spinach does. And it’s leaves are more straight than savory spinach and less crinkly.
When it comes to growing semi-savory spinach, the advantage of this variety is that it is disease resistant and bolt resistant. Given this, gardeners tend to choose semi-savory spinach to grow in the garden.
Smooth Leafed Spinach
Smooth leafed spinach is just like it sounds, it’s leaves are much smoother than savory or semi-savory spinach. It has smooth, flat shaped leaves.
This variety of spinach is the one that is most common for canning or freezing. It is also sold as a fresh spinach in the produce section. You will often find this kind of spinach in the bagged salads.
Smooth leafed spinach varieties take less time to grow, making it a popular choice for spinach in the garden.
How do you Identify a Spinach Plant?
If you are growing multiple types of spinach in your garden and you forget to label your spinach plants, you might be wondering how you can identify the different types of spinach plants.
Spinach is easy to identify in the garden, as it is as simple as the leaves look like spinach.
If you want to figure out the type of spinach, you can tell if it is savory, semi-savory, or smoothed leafed by inspecting the spinach leaves themselves. If the leaves are very curly and crinkly looking then you have savory spinach. Spinach leaves that are smooth and look like the classic spinach that you usually get in bagged salad then it is smoothed leafed spinach. Spinach leaves that fall in between are usually the semi-savory variety of spinach.
Why Should You Grow Different Types of Spinach?
Why should you grow more than just one variety of spinach in the garden?
Because why not? There are so many great types of spinach that you can experiment with in salads and other delishous recipes.
Spinach doesn’t have to be boring.
Also as gardeners it’s fun to try to grow different breeds of plants and see how each react to your garden’s unique environment.
Another great reason to grow different types of spinach is that you can extend your spinach growing season. Different types of spinach have different growing rates and different seasonal conditions that they thrive in. So by growing different varieties of spinach you can go beyond the traditional timeline for harvesting it in the garden.
What is the Best Type of Spinach to Grow?
Savory spinach varieties are usually the type of spinach home gardeners prefer. It’s unique look and great taste are superior to the other spinach types. It is also the most productive of the spinach types. And in addition to being more productive, it can tolerate the cold better.
Smooth leafed spinach is another popular type of spinach gardeners like to plan in home gardens. This type of spinach is popular for canning and freezing. It also grows faster than the other varieties.
Growing Spinach In the Garden
Spinach is a fast and easy crop to grow in your backyard vegetable garden.
It’s is a great crop for early spring, when the weather is cooler, as it does not like growing in hot summer temperatures. Some varieties of spinach can even tolerate a bit of frost.
You will want soil that is well drained and make sure to use compost to help give your soil some great nutrients. I use a compost tumbler to keep the compost cranking out for my garden at home. If you would like to learn how to start using a compost tumbler to make great garden compost click here.
Different Types of Spinach You Can Grow From Seed
Bloomsdale spinach is a popular savory spinach that handles cold weather well and can also produce very well in the early summer.
Noble Giant Spinach Seeds
Noble Giant Heirloom Spinach Seeds harvest around 50 days. This type of spinach is bolt resistant.
Viroflay Spinach Seed
Viroflay Spinach grows leaves that are about 10 inches and is able to be harvested quickly with germination occurring within 9 days from planting. It grows well in a variety of climate conditions.
A La Carte Hybrid Spinach Seeds
This is a fast growing spinach variety that has a dense and savory nutty flavor. You can harvest this type of spinach in about 45 days.
Carmel Spinach is a fast-growing spinach that can be harvested as early as 25 days for baby leaves.
Corvair is a smooth-leafed spinach that can be harvested in 26 days.