Nutritive Value: Spinach is a short duration leafy vegetable, generally recommended to anemic patients to be eaten in abundance. It contain 86 percent water, 6.5 percent carbohydrates, 3.4 percent proteins, 0.8 percent fats and 0.7 percent fibers, 2.2 percent minerals like phosphorus, calcium and iron, and is rich in vitamins A and C.
Soil and Climate: Spinach can be grown in all types of soil. It performs well in light soil containing good organic matter. Spinach is a short duration vegetable which is ready for harvesting within 25 to 30 days of planting. It can be grown year-round.
Important Varieties: All Green, Pusa Jyoti, Pusa Harit are the popular varieties of spinach grown in tropical regions. Planting and Irrigation: Spinach seeds are sown 2 cm deep and 20 cm apart in weed free soil and covered with soil. Seeds germinate 8 to 10 days after sowing. Well composed farm yard manure should be mixed with soil before sowing the seeds. Since spinach is a succulent vegetable crop, it should be irrigated every 5 to 6 days in summer and every10 to 12 days in winter, and each cutting should be followed by manuring and watering.
Plant Protection: Spinach is generally attacked by insect pests like aphids, leaf miner and leaf eating caterpillars that can be controlled by spraying neem cake extract or neemark. Wilting is one of the major diseases of spinach caused by the fusarium fungus which can be prevented by treating seeds with Trichoderma
biocontrol agent before sowing.
Harvesting: When spinach leaves attain a 20 to 30 cm height in 25 to 30 days after sowing it is ready for the first cutting. The first cut should be given at 5 cm from ground level. keeping the stem part intact. Second and successive cuttings should be done at 10 to 15 day intervals.