Spinach (Spinacia oleraceae) is a tender-leafed herbaceous annual plant grown for its leaves, which are used as a vegetable.
It is a heavy feeder crop and for maximum production, it should be supplied with sufficient nutrients.
Both micro and micronutrients should be availed to the crop, and this is achieved through application of basal and foliar fertilizers.
Basal fertilizers, e.g. DAP, CAN, etc. are absorbed by the crop through the roots while foliar fertilizers, e.g. GOLDCHANCE, OPTIMIZER, LAVENDER, etc. are taken up by the crop through its foliage.
Spinach does not however require nutrients that trigger production of flowers and seeds, and thus application of fertilizers which promote higher regeneration of vegetation leading to higher yields is recommended.
The crop requires plenty of Nitrogen for the best production.
For soils with little or no organic matter, manure should be added.
Soil testing should be done to determine the level of different nutrients in the soil in order to know quantities needed.
FERTILIZER APPLICATION SCHEDULE
Different types and amounts of nutrients are required at different stages of growth and development, and therefore fertilizer application schedule should be adjusted with respect to the different stages.
A proper timing of fertilizer application increases yields, reduces nutrient losses, increases nutrient use efficiency and prevents damage to the environment.
Early growth stage
This is the time between seed sowing, germination, transplanting and about 2 weeks after seedlings’ transplanting.
To promote uniform germination and break seed dormancy, seeds are soaked in OPTIMIZER 20ml/1l for 6-12 hours. Alternatively, the nursery can be drenched with OPTIMIZER 20ml/20l.
In order to avoid/ prevent transpiration shock, seedlings are sprayed with OPTIMIZER 10ml/20l.
To promote strong early growth, maximise root development, ensure good shoot growth and supply food reserves to the seedlings after transplanting, spray the crop with GOLDCHANCE SUPER START 50g/20l or LAVENDER 20ml/20l or VITABOR GOLD 30ml/20l or PLANT SOUL 20ml/20l or ZINC GOLD 10ml/20l.
Application of DAP to the main field during transplanting is very important.
Vegetative growth stage
This is the stage where the crop is actively growing and photosynthesizing.
Nitrogenous fertilizers are highly encouraged.
In order to ensure continued growth and development, maintain vigorous, healthy leaf growth and to ensure unlimited photosynthetic growth, spray the crop with GOLDCHANCE SUPER GROWTH 50g/20l or LEGENDARY 40ml/20l or LAVENDER 20ml/20l.
Top dress with CAN. Other basal fertilizers like NPK 23:23:0 could also be applied during this stage to ensure sufficient supply of nutrients, especially Nitrogen.
The quality and size of the leaves produced is primarily dependent upon the crop’s nutrition.
- OPTIMIZER 10ml/20l should be sprayed at all stages in order to boost crop’s immunity, manage stress, and improve the general performance of the crop. It supplies both macro and micro nutrient elements and growth hormones.
- All basal fertilizers (e.g. DAP, CAN, etc.) and manures should be mixed with HUMIPOWER at the rate of 1kg Humipower into 50kg fertilizer or 1 ton of manure. Humipower improves on the nutrient uptake by the crop, stimulates growth, improves soil structure, and adds organic matter to the soil among other benefits.
- Whenever doing foliar sprays, it is advisable to always mix the foliar feed with INTEGRA 3ml/20l. This is a sticker, spreader and penetrant which improves the absorption level of the fertilizer by the foliage of the crop.
- Foliar sprays should be repeated on weekly basis.