QUESTION: Is spinach a seed? Will it go to seed and how do I collect them? -Larry R.
ANSWER: Spinach is a leafy green vegetable that produces seeds, which the next generation grows from. Spinach plants need to experience long days in order to generate the flowers that the seeds come from. They get the long days they need to produce seeds at the right time in their maturation in northern latitudes. Because spinach plants have an indeterminate flowering pattern, they will continue to blossom and go to seed for as long as favorable conditions continue.
The seeds begin ripening from the bottom of the plant and continue maturing as they work their way up the stem, changing from the green color of immature seeds to a khaki-colored brown once they’re ready to be collected. Because mature and immature seeds will usually be present simultaneously, if you wish to collect seeds from your spinach plants, go ahead and do so once two thirds of the seeds you see have turned brown to indicate they’ve matured. Dry the seeds for 10 days by harvesting the plants and spreading them out in a single layer on breathable fabric. Stored in a cool, dry place, spinach seeds will remain viable for up to six years.