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When to plant Fall spinach

 
pollinator
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Standardized gardening manuals recommend planting Fall crops of spinach and similar greens in August and September.

The problem seems to me that it is still quite hot here, and will be through September, after which it can get cold in a hurry.

Would spinach planted now just bolt? Or would the shortening days keep that from happening?
 
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Gilbert Fritz wrote:Standardized gardening manuals recommend planting Fall crops of spinach and similar greens in August and September.

The problem seems to me that it is still quite hot here, and will be through September, after which it can get cold in a hurry.

Would spinach planted now just bolt? Or would the shortening days keep that from happening?



I don't know the answer to your question.

But I feel you. My brain played similar math for this year's summer garden.  March, it says.  But seed 30 days early. But wait until after first frost, but not until the ground is 70 degrees, carry the two, pi r2....  

It was so, so cold this spring. For us in NC, I mean. Routine dips into the low 30's, even upper 20s.  I waited as long as I could. Yet still I was going outside night after night to swaddle my plants in trash bags next to edison bulbs to keep their tiny little leaves from freezing.   Even though I'd waited weeks past the "planting date" the seedlings were barely hanging on.

Then 30 seconds later it was a hundred and eleventy degrees and luxuriant weeds were sprouting like chest hair all over the place as the cruel sun beat down.   And my seedlings were weeks too late after all.  I'm barely harvesting anything.  I still wonder: would it have been better to start the plants early?  Would they have died?

My gut says yes, I should have planted earlier.  Easier to manage plants in the ground than to fire up the whole enterprise weeks behind the eight ball.  But that's just my gut.  If you figure it out let me know because I'm getting ready for my fall garden too.
 
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I am sorry to have no advice, just lots of empathy.  I am new to the area I live in so I don't have any of my own experiences to go by.  I have been planting arugula and mustard greens from the dates recommmended to me in the spring until now, and everything has just gone to bolt right away with no yield, despite putting some of my seeds in part shade.  I've decided to consider it all an experiment.  I am going to plant them every 3 weeks, keep track of what I'm doing, and see what works and what doesn't.  At some point, I will get some tasty greens, and I will have a better idea what to do next year.  
 
Rob Lineberger
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Succession planting is a great idea in this scenario! I shall emulate you.
 
Jen Swanson
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So, good news, the arugula and mustard greens I seeded August 21st have not bolted!  Bad new is the cabbage worms have eaten my efforts overnight!  I should have done something about them yesterday when I saw holes in the leaves.  Oh well.  
 
Gilbert Fritz
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I've also found that insect pressure is really high when starting brassicas in hot dry weather for fall harvest. Earwigs destroyed all my turnip seedlings.
 
Jen Swanson
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Hmmm.  Very interesting.  Now I know better when to keep a watchful eye!
 
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With a cold frame you can still seed for a while. One friend of mine really extends her growing season quite a bit just with some cold frames
 
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Hi i have bought spinach seeds 8 years ago and have kept them going. If you just cut leaves or half the plants or take out the smaller plants that's easy and cheap.
I missed some seeds and they popped up two weeks ago in a patch that i don't water much, that was the sign for me to sow my spinach seeds. In one bed they come up strong, in two beds further on , which gets slightly less sun a lot less strong. It's therefor pretty hard to tell really when is the time to plant the seeds. In the end they decide themselves when the weather is right for them.
If you don't have lots, maybe try a few first..
 
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