The addition of salad greens is an excellent way to extend the vegetable garden harvest. Greens, like spinach, grow best when temperatures are cool. This means that seeds are most commonly planted so that the plant can be harvested in the spring and/or fall. In fact, warm weather can greatly impact the taste of these plants, causing them to become bitter or tough. Prolonged exposure to warm temperatures can even cause the plants to bolt, or begin to flower and set seeds.
Spinach lovers who have missed the ideal planting window may be left with questions like, “Can spinach be grown in summer” or “Are there any heat tolerant spinach varieties?” Read on to learn more.
Can Spinach be Grown in Summer?
Success in growing spinach in summer will vary depending upon climate. Those with cool summer temperatures may have moderate luck. Growers attempting to grow during the hotter months of the year, however, should look for summer spinach varieties.
These cultivars may be labeled as “slow bolt” or heat tolerant spinach. Though these labels do not guarantee your spinach will grow in the summer, they will increase the chance of success. It should also be noted that seeds planted in excessively warm soil may exhibit poor germination rates, or fail to do so completely.
Popular Heat Tolerant Spinach Varieties
- Bloomsdale Longstanding – A popular open-pollinated variety of spinach to grow in summer. Performs well in the garden, as it is known for its long-standing quality – even when temperatures begin to climb in late spring and early summer.
- Catalina – A hybrid semi-savoy cultivar of spinach known for its mild flavor. Growing quickly, this heat tolerant spinach is ideal for a quick crop under less than ideal conditions.
- Indian Summer – Another hybrid spinach to grow in summer, this variety is especially slow to bolt. This cultivar is also prized for its disease resistance.
- Oceanside – Demonstrating high resistance to bolt, this variety produces a mass of baby greens. This cultivar has shown to grow into midsummer in some regions.
Alternative Summer Spinach Varieties
While there are several heat tolerant spinach varieties available, many gardeners choose instead to explore the growth of spinach alternatives during the hottest parts of summer. These options include plants like malabar spinach, New Zealand spinach, and orach. All are similar in taste and prepared much like traditional spinach but don’t mind warmer conditions in the garden.
Careful research can help growers to determine whether or not this option would be viable in their own garden.