How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Planting spinach

Spinach is generally seeded directly into the garden, and not transplanted. It should be planted on raised beds, made by adding large amounts of sifted compost or other soil amendments so that a bed is established above the previous level of soil. At each place a plant is desired, scatter 6 to 8 seeds on moist soil. Plant a greater stand than necessary so as to make up for any losses from insects such as cutworms. With your finger, push the seeds into the soil 0.5 to 0.75 of an inch deep. Fill these holes by scratching the surface, firm the soil lightly, and cover with a thin mulch of grass clippings or other organic material in order to hold soil moisture. Water well and keep moist during the germination period. When plants are up and growing, thin to 3 to 6 inches apart. You can grow two rows in beds that are 38 to 40 inches across. Germination takes place in about 10 days at 40° F. In areas with long seasons, continue to sow every 2 to 3 weeks for a longer harvest. If growing spinach during the summer, young seedlings can be protected with 50% shade cloth or 2 layers of floating row cover until they have about 6 leaves. This helps protect them from sunburn as well as seedling pests such as flea beetles, leafminers, snails, and slugs and possibly from birds.


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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