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Overwintering Spinach Trial 2015

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For some reason I’m fascinated with spinach. Perhaps it’s the different colors, textures, and growth habits, but all of it intrigues me. We sell a lot of spinach on our farm: baby, leaf, and bunched.
Last year we decided to do several trials. One was in the fall comparing 8 different types, looking at growth habits, hardiness, and disease resistance. The other was a ¼ acre, 9 variety, overwintering trial, looking at the same characteristics. We are located in zone 4a, and can get quite cold during the winter.
The process started Mid-summer with identifying the area for the trial. We wanted well drained soils as spinach doesn’t like wet feet, especially during the winter. We choose a sloping, Hoosic gravelly loam that had previously been in spring greens. The field was tilled and fertilized, beds where made, and the Spinach seed was planted mid October, 3 rows on the bed, 18” apart. Seed spacing in the row was 12-16 seeds per ft.
After seeding, the spinach germinated and was cultivated once before winter covers were put on in late November for overwintering. We used one layer of Typar 518 or 2 layers of Covertan 30 weight. The winter of 2014-15 was severe, with good snow pack. The rowcover was needed, because when part of it blew off, that area died. (Thankfully it didn’t destroy all of any one variety, so we still were able to collect data from all varieties.)
Spring came on slowly, with late April snowfalls. We didn’t’ get out into the fields until April 12th when we fertilized the spinach with krehers 8-3-3, putting down 60# N to the acre. We were, however, able to check the spinach in late March as the snow receded.
One problem we had was that rowcovers on spinach can cause rubbing, or white spots on the leaves. We didn’t want to hoop the spinach, so we ended up delaying harvest by pulling row covers completely off. This was done approximately at the end of April. For more information visit http://michael-kilpatrick.com/what-we-learned-from-our-overwintering-spinach-trial/

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Overwintering Spinach Trial 2015

  1. 1. Kilpatrick Family Farm OVERWINTERED SPINACH TRIAL 2014-2015
  2. 2. Check out my blog!! www.michael-kilpatrick.com http://michael-kilpatrick.com/what-we-learned-from-our- overwintering-spinach-trial/ a detailed blog post about the trial is posted at
  3. 3. OVERWINTERED SPINACH TRIAL 2014-2015 Planted in mid- October, row covered for protection in late November, uncovered in early April, we started harvesting in late April.
  4. 4. Scorecard for varietes
  5. 5. SPACE
  6. 6. SPACE
  7. 7. SPACE
  8. 8. EMPEROR
  9. 9. EMPEROR
  10. 10. EMPEROR
  11. 11. GIANT WINTER
  12. 12. GIANT WINTER
  13. 13. GIANT WINTER
  14. 14. PIDGEON
  15. 15. PIDGEON
  16. 16. PIDGEON
  17. 17. TYEE
  18. 18. TYEE
  19. 19. TYEE
  20. 20. RACOON
  21. 21. RACOON
  22. 22. RACOON
  23. 23. BLOOMSDALE
  24. 24. BLOOMSDALE
  25. 25. BLOOMSDALE
  26. 26. REGIMENT
  27. 27. REGIMENT
  28. 28. REGIMENT
  29. 29. RENEGADE
  30. 30. RENEGADE
  31. 31. RENEGADE
  32. 32. RED RUSSIAN SPINACH
  33. 33. RED RUSSIAN SPINACH
  34. 34. DAMAGE CAUSED BY ROWCOVER
  35. 35. DAMAGE CAUSED BY ROWCOVER
  36. 36. PUCKERING OF LEAVES
  37. 37. PUCKERING OF LEAVES
  38. 38. AFTER THE TRIAL
  39. 39. AFTER THE TRIAL
  40. 40. AFTER THE TRIAL
  41. 41. Check out my blog!! www.michael-kilpatrick.com http://michael-kilpatrick.com/what-we-learned-from-our- overwintering-spinach-trial/ a detailed blog post about the trial is posted at
  42. 42. This trial was done in the fall of 2014 with 8 varieties, our favorites were Donkey and Covair In addition to the overwintering trial, we did a fall spinach trial as well

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