Rabbits ate my overwintered spinach

Spinach damage inside my coldframe- eaten by a rabbit

Waaa! I went out to the cold frame and found that the spinach that I planted LAST NOVEMBER has been all eaten. Some baby wabbit or squirrel (do squirrels eat greens?) found out how to get inside through a small crack and had a feast! I now have to replace part of the top wooden frame that warped this winter and created the crack. Notice it ate the leaves, leaving the stems. Hopefully the center part of each spinach (the crown) will come back. At least the critter didn’t pull them up…

coldframe with spinach covered by row cover to keep critters out

I am now putting row cover over the inside sections and holding it down with rocks to keep them out till I fix it. I’m hoping to fix it tomorrow because I want to now plant spinach seeds in there. Maybe I’ll plant the seeds between the other spinach plants. It also ate some bok choy and chard. Boo Hoo. I hope they enjoyed it.

Time to Plant Spinach!

Fresh Picked 'Melody' Spinach

I direct seed spinach here in Santa Fe as soon as our soil is workable. I will get it in this weekend weather permitting. I always seem to wait too long but not this year!

If you have a soil or compost thermometer or if you don’t have one, you should consider getting one (I have a compost thermometer as it is longer in length), check your soil as spinach will germinate when the soil gets between 55-60 degrees. Spinach likes it cold and it has a short season here. For most varieties as soon as it gets warm, it will bolt like a cat and go to seed. We generally won’t be able to get spinach by mid May so I like to replant every few weeks to get a continuous crop instead of a large crop all at once for as long as I can. Luckily for us spinach grows quickly and most varieties reach maturity 4-6 weeks from seed.

Spinach likes to eat as it is a heavy feeder so a good dose of fish emulsion and seaweed fertilizer after it is up will really help it. If you have overwintered some spinach, fertilize it as soon as it starts to grow.

There are 3 kinds of spinach: Savoy (crinkly, thick glossy leaves) Semi-savoy (less crinkly), and Smooth Flat leaves. Here are some varieties for each type:


Indian Summer

Smooth Flat Leaf:
Giant Nobel

If you are direct seeding, plant your seeds about 1/2 inch deep, either in rows or broadcasting them like you would a mesclun mix and just keep thinning them out, eating them along the way. If you haven’t tried fresh grown spinach, you’re in for a treat. Don’t wait too long or you’ll miss this wonderful green.