one question about spinach. I am growing some spinach in my balcony, I am seeing very long stems and small leaves. I get around around 4 hours of sun daily. What’s wrong? Thanks.


Spinach has some growing conditions that it likes, see below:

  1. Spinach is a cool weather crop and does best in temperatures ranging between -4 degrees C to 24 degrees C.
  2. The time of year you are growing it, will determine the amount of sunlight it requires.  In the very early spring and fall, it requires 6-8 hours of direct sunlight.  In late spring and summer, it requires less direct sunlight such as morning sunlight with afternoon shade being ideal.
  3. Balcony pots need to be 6-8 inches deep and the wider the better.  All pots should have drainage holes in the bottom.
  4. A good quality potting soil mix that is high in organic matter is best, otherwise the addition of sheep manure, compost or worm castings is advised.
  5. Plants should be spaced 4-6 inches apart in the pots.
  6. Watering should be done daily and if the weather is very hot, watering should be done twice daily.
  7. Feeding is important as Spinach is a crop that needs lots of Nitrogen.  Seaweed or compost tea are a great organic source of nitrogen but a water soluble fertilizer can be used, making sure the first number is high (3-1-2 or 4-1-2)
  8. A layer of mulch spread on the soil surface will help retain moisture.
  9. Harvest the outer larger leaves while they are still young as this encourages new growth from the centre of each plant.

From your description, I suspect your plants may not be getting enough sunlight and are therefore stretching on “long stems”.  Small leaves could be caused by lack of nutrients so feeding may correct this.

Hope this helps.