1 of 1 people found this helpful
Hi mlpoe, Spinach is fussy and inconsistent in hydroponic systems like the TG... almost to the point of being not worth the effort (many commercial TG growers avoid it). Spinach is also notoriously difficult to germinate (temperature control and age of seeds is critical). If you still consider growing spinach in the TG a worthwhile investment in time and energy then you may find this information helpful:
How to Grow Spinach In Your Tower Garden:
* Spinach is a cool weather crop that lends itself well to the hydroponic realm only when properly cared for. It does not perform as well in higher temperatures. Prolonged warm temperatures will cause most varieties of spinach to bolt to seed, which basically ruins your crop. Spinach that has bolted is bitter.
* Temperature should never exceed 75 F at anytime during the growing process. Average day cycle temperatures of 65 - 70 F and average night time temperatures of 60 - 65 F will contribute to the best results, in quality and in producing a quick timely harvest.
* Spinach germinates best at temperatures between 60 and 75 degrees.
* For seeds that have not yet been germinated - store at 40 to 70 degrees F., cold stratification for a week or two prior to planting is a nifty little trick some growers use. Keep the seeds in the refrigerator for a few weeks before sowing them - it has the effect of hardening them and leads to a healthier plant.
* Seeds become less viable as they age, germination rates decline incredibly. Be sure to use seed that is packaged for the current growing season.
* Spinach typically takes 6-10 days to germinate.
* Resist the temptation to transfer spinach seedlings into the TG until you see roots exiting the rockwool cube (two weeks is typical).
I have had very good luck with spinach germinating when I soak the seeds in water for 24 hrs before placing them in the rock wool. Good luck!
I've been pleased with all three varieties tried this year in the TG. I wrote about my varieties and what I've used in this thread (Spinach germination--cool, room temp, or warm??? ). And now have a second wave growing in the soil of my new Garden Tower 2.
Though today I did notice that my broccoli raab and mustard spinaches have had some aphids start to set in. No prob over last 2 months. The first wave of spinaches (and raab) have about had their run so I picked off the few affected areas today and trashed; dusting rest with food grade diatomaceous earth; Will use up the remaining good stuff over the next few days and watch for aphid spread in other plants, treating with neem if something stronger is needed.