UNH Research: Cold Weather Makes for Tastier Spinach
Old Man Winter’s coldest months are a boon to New Hampshire growers interested in adding spinach to their winter crop. Researchers at the NH Agricultural Experiment Station have found that spinach grown in high tunnels during the coldest months of winter has the highest sugar content.
Becky Sideman, a researcher with the NH Agricultural Experiment Station and extension professor of sustainable horticulture production, Kaitlyn Orde, a graduate student in agricultural sciences, and Connor Eaton, a graduate student in plant biology, conducted a two-year winter spinach trial at the Woodman Horticultural Research Farm to determine the most suitable spinach varieties and planting dates for winter production in New Hampshire in an unheated high-tunnel environment.
“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,” Orde said.