QUESTION: Does spinach need a lot of water? How often do I water spinach? -Jan W.
ANSWER: Spinach needs consistently moist soil during its growing cycle. Keeping the soil moist for your spinach plants will allow your plants to absorb moisture from the soil and the moisture will help to cool down the soil, which will keep spinach plants from bolting when the weather gets warm. If your spinach plants bolt, the leaves quickly become inedible and bitter. By keeping your soil moist and cool, you can effectively prolong the harvest season and give yourself a lot more spinach to harvest as well.
Spinach needs about one to one and a half inches of rain or irrigation per week. If you don’t get any rain, you will need to manually water your spinach plants. Instead of one long deep soak, spinach plants will do better with three or four light waterings per week.
Spinach has a shallow root system and is not very good at absorbing moisture that isn’t close to the soil’s surface. If the soil becomes waterlogged, or soggy, the plants will not do very well either, and will become susceptible to a wide range of pest and disease issues. So, for the perfect amount of moisture, keep the soil constantly damp, but not soggy, and your spinach plants will thrive.
An excellent way to help with moisture retention and keeping the soil moist and cool is to apply mulch around your spinach plants. Spinach plants don’t grow very tall, so it might be a bit of a chore to mulch right up to the base of the plants, but adding a layer of mulch to each side of the rows can do a lot towards helping the soil retain moisture and stay cool. Grass clippings, chopped up leaves, and straw are all great mulches for spinach plants.