The Super Spinach

Spinach harvest at home

As the days are lengthening into February, our gardens start stirring back into life. Overwintered vegetables are primed to steal a march, with already established root systems harvesting nutrients from the soil. They awaken from their winter slumber, growing fresh new leaves to lap up the returning daylight and providing the earliest of the year’s harvests.

This particular vegetable has it’s roots back in Ancient Persia, and was introduced to Britain in the 14th Century. It proved a hit with the locals just as it continues to be now, being another health bomb of a vegetable. It’s packed full of vitamins A, B2, B6, C, E and K, as well as manganese, folate, magnesium, copper, calcium, potassium and most famously, iron – no wonder Popeye loved it.

The Super Spinach is our top pick for February.


Spinach is a cool weather crop – it grows best in the spring or autumn.

Sow seeds directly into the final growing position - scatter them across your pot and cover with ~2cm of soil. Summer harvests should be sown in spring, whilst overwintered spinach should be sown in the autumn. If you are lucky, you could get a quick crop of baby leaves before the winter sets in, but the main crop will come in the spring.

Spinach Growing ready for thinning Sprout Vegetables

Once your seedlings are up and running, thin them out to 7.5cm between each plant. A few weeks later, harvest out every other plant to give them more space.


Aside from getting some early harvests when thinning out the pot, you should wait until your plants have a number of leaves which are ~5cm across – this will allow them to grow a healthy set of roots.

Once they are big enough though, it’s harvest time! Pinch off individual spinach leaves, working around your pot to take the biggest outside leaves of each plant first, leaving the smaller ones to continue growing.

Keep harvesting for as long as you can until the plant goes to seed as the weather warms up.


Aside from munching straight out of the can like Popeye, spinach is a delightful and versatile ingredient. It’s used extensively in Indian cooking – known as ‘saag’. We love this saag paneer from The Teaspoon Club. It’s delicious, and also super easy - they’ll send you all the fresh and organic spices you’ll need pre-measured into compostable packaging!

The Teaspoon Clubs Saag Paneer

To unleash the true green of spinach, you can make spinach pesto! Just blend together 3 cups spinach, 1 clove garlic, 1/3 cup pine nuts, 2 tablespoons grated parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pinch of pepper, 1/2 cup olive oil and juice of 1/2 lemon, and hey pesto…

Finally, for an upmarket winter warmer on a cold February night, try Ottolenghi’s spinach and gorgonzola stuffed jackets

Ottolenghi's Spinach and Gorgonzola Stuffed Jacket Potatoes

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