Growing spinach the past few years has been a bit of a challenge for me. I had spotty germination at best (even with new seed), and what did grow never really amounted to much; I'd get a few handfuls of spinach leaves to add to a salad, but that was about it.
I am pretty confident that one of the main reasons I've had poor luck with spinach is the weather. The past few springs have been filled with stretches of hotter than average temperatures early in the season, which seem to stress the plants into bolting before they can produce much. Even a day or two at or above 90 degrees in May or June seems to do the spinach in. .
This year I'm giving spinach another try with renewed hope for success. I've selected two new-to-me varieties of spinach, both which are supposed to be slower to bolt. The first is Space, a hybrid that is supposed to be good for harvesting as baby spinach (my favorite for fresh eating) and Bloomsdale Long Standing, an heirloom that (as the name suggests) is supposed tolerate heat better than most spinach varieties (and should be excellent for cooking).
Of course, the weather this spring has been overall on the cooler side (predictable, eh?), but it is Minnesota, which means we could go from from one extreme to the other in a mater of a day, so we'll just have to wait and see if I'll get to test my weather theory. And while the weather this past weekend was not what most Minnesotans were hoping for in a Memorial Day weekend, the cooler temperatures and gentle rain have been awesome for the spinach. It's already off to the best start I've ever had!