Beta vulgaris var bengalensis, Chenapodiaceae
Origin : Iran
Spinach is one of the most important perennial green leafy vegetable. It is cultivated throughout the world. Spinach is also known as “Palak”. It is a rich source of iron, vitamin and anti-oxidants. It has many health benefits. It increases immunity. It is good for digestion, skin, hair, eyes and for brain health. It has anti-cancerous and anti-ageing property. Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Gujarat are the leading producing states of spinach in India.
Varieties and hybrids
All green, Pusa harit, Pusa jyothi, Pusa bharti, Punjab selection and Punjab green.
Climate and soil
It requires a temperature of 15-30 degrees for its growth and rainfall of 80-120cm. It can be grown in any type of soil having good drainage condition. But it gives good result when grown on sandy loam and alluvial soil. Avoid acidic soils and water logged soils for spinach cultivation. pH of soil should 6 to 7.
2-3 Ploughings should be given to get good tilth. After ploughing, level the land by using leveler and form uniform beds & irrigation channels
For winter season use, seed rate of 4-6 kg and for summer crop use seed rate of 10-15 kg per acre. Before sowing soak seeds in water for 12-24 hours. It will increase the germination percentage.
Spinach is sown throughout the year. For winter season, best time for sowing is from September to October and for spring season complete sowing from Mid-February to April.
Soil spacing and depth
Use row to row spacing of 25-30 cm and plant to plant spacing of 5-10 cm. Sow seeds at the depth of 3-4 cm and Sowing can be done by line sowing and broadcasting method.
Apply well decomposed FYM @ 100 qtl/ac, Urea @ 75 kg/ac, SSP @ 75 kg/ac. Apply whole amount of well decomposed FYm and SSP along with half amount of Urea before sowing. Apply remaining amount of nitrogen in two equal splits after each cutting. After fertilizer application provide light irrigation.
To check the weeds population and to provide aeration, 2-3 hoeing are required. To control weed chemically, use Pyrazone@1-1.12 kg/acre as pre-emergence herbicide. Do not use weedicide afterwards.
For proper seed germination and good growth soil should have enough moisture content. At time of sowing if proper soil moisture is not present in soil then provide pre-sowing irrigation.
First irrigation should be given after sowing. In summer month, apply irrigation at interval of 4-6 days where as in winter month apply irrigation at interval of 10-12 days. Avoid over irrigation also care should be taken not to water on leaves, as it will leads to occurrence of disease and deterioration of quality. Drip irrigation is proves to be beneficial for spinach cultivation.
Harvesting depends on type of variety selected. Crop is ready for first cutting 25-30 days after sowing depending on variety. For harvesting, use sharp knife or sickle., Subsequent cuttings should be done at the interval of 20-25 days.
We can obtain an average yield of 10000 to 20000 kg/ha and it varies for different varieties.