QUESTION: How do you harvest spinach so it keeps growing? How can I keep my spinach plants producing leaves? -Paula M.
ANSWER: Harvesting spinach correctly greatly improves the chances of the spinach growing back for multiple harvests. Spinach regenerates its leaves from their growing point, which is the crown of the plant where the stems join the root system very near to the soil’s surface. When harvesting, use a pair of scissors or garden shears to cut the spinach leaves back to within 2 inches of the ground. Be careful not to cut into the growing point, otherwise you may damage the plant so that it will not regrow. The leaves should then regrow for a second harvest within four weeks after the first cutting. If it doesn’t go to seed, the plant may produce two or more cycles of regrowth, which will allow you to continue harvesting over a much longer period.
Spinach can be harvested a few leaves at a time, or all at once, depending on your needs and preferences. If you just need a few leaves, use scissors or garden shears to cut the leaves at the stem, harvesting the outer, older leaves first, then working your way in gradually towards the center of the plant as the inner leaves start to mature. If you prefer to harvest all of the leaves at the same time, you can simply cut the whole plant off at the base, taking care not to cut into the growing point, so that the plant can regrow. Either harvesting method will encourage regrowth as long as the growing point is not damaged during the harvesting.