Botanical Name: Spinacia oleracea
Days to Maturity: 28–48 days
Native: Southwest Asia
Hardiness: Frost-tolerant annual. Very cold hardy; fall-sown plants may overwinter even in climates with sub-zero temperatures.
Plant Dimensions: 6"–8" tall
Variety Information: Dark green, oval-shaped leaves. 'Matador' is cold hardy with sweet flavor; and slow to bolt in warm weather.
Attributes: Good for Containers, Heat Tolerant
When to Sow Outside: RECOMMENDED. 4 to 6 weeks before your average last frost date, and when soil temperature is above 40°F; ideally 50°–75°F. Successive Sowings: Every 3 weeks until 4 weeks before your average first fall frost date. If mulched, spinach can overwinter in sub–zero temperatures. Soil temperatures above 85°F halt germination.
When to Start Inside: Not recommended; roots sensitive to disturbance.
Days to Emerge: 5–10 days
Seed Depth: ½"
Seed Spacing: A group of 3 seeds 6"
Row Spacing: 12"
Thinning: When 2" tall thin to 1 every 6"
Harvesting: Pick individual leaves from outer edges of plant as they become big enough to use or cut the whole plant 1" above the ground; new leaves will be produced. When picking individual leaves, also removing the leaf stem at the same time is best; this reduces vulnerability to disease during die-back and conserves plant energy. Harvest before the plant sends up a flower stalk (bolting). Just prior to bolting, leaves take on an "arrowhead" shape, adding small keel shapes to the base of the leaf.