Spinach is a suitable crop for winter production in New Hampshire due to its ability to continue producing saleable leaves at very low-temperatures. Fall transplants into high tunnels can result in winter-long harvests and significant spring yields, providing an avenue for growers to meet strong consumer demand for local greens during the “off” season.
With the goal of providing recommendations for winter spinach production in high tunnels, we performed experiments over two winter seasons using fall-planted spinach seedlings. We focused primarily on three spinach varieties: Regiment, Space, and Tyee, and planted these varieties at six different dates throughout the fall, ranging from 20 September to 9 November. At our third planting date (9 Oct) we grew a total of eight varieties for comparison.
- Determine yield potential for each fall transplant date and identify best transplant dates
- Evaluate several varieties for their suitability for winter production
- Assess the leaf sugar content among varieties throughout the winter season, and
- Identify discernable growth and leaf characteristics among varieties that may assist growers in choosing those best suited to their market/objectives.