How to begin growing spinach

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Step 1: Loosen your soil by digging down deep.

Step 2: Apply fertilizer, manure or compost. If you are using fertilizer, use one handful for every square meter of soil. Or four hands of kraal manure or compost for every square meter of soil.

Step 3: Use a garden fork to mix soil and fertilizer, manure or compost thoroughly, and then even out using a rake.

Step 4: Put the seed or seedlings into the ground, working according to the instructions on the seed packet or the nursery recommendations.

Step 5: Water the plants regularly. Use flood irrigation, a sprinkler, a watering can, a hosepipe or drip irrigation.

Step 6: For a better crop, apply a top dressing about five weeks later as spinach needs a lot of nitrogen for good quality, broad leaves. For this top dressing, use either chicken manure or LAN applied between the rows and work it in lightly. Remember to remove weeds regularly.

Step 7: Harvest spinach regularly. Remove only the outer (older) leaves with a sharp knife about 30mm to 50mm above ground level. Don’t damage the new leaves. If the leaves are not going to be used immediately, bunch them and put them in water to keep them fresh for longer.

Step 8: Don’t plant spinach on the same plot over and over, because this causes spinach pests and diseases to build up in the soil. Rotate the crop with other vegetables such as pumpkins, beans, peas, lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes and cabbage.

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