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Harvest plant: Harvest leaves with scissors, do not pull up the whole plant. Allow plants to brown and dry after no leaves are left to harvest. Spinach has male and female plants, and, as you might expect, only the female plants produce seeds. In order to identify the female plants, look for round green balls under the leaves (male plants have yellow balls under their leaves). Once spinach plants have dried out harvest them, this usually occurs 4-6 weeks after leaves have been harvested.
Dry plants: Hang any female plants that aren't completely dry upside-down for a week after harvesting.
Harvest seeds: Wear gloves during this process. Use your thumb to loosen seeds from the stem of the female spinach plants, catch the seeds in a paper bag as they fall.
Label and Store: Store in a sealed container and place in a cool, dry location. Properly stored spinach seeds can last 2-3 years.
Spinach is a cold weather crop. Plant in late winter (six weeks before last spring frost) or in fall (about six weeks before first frost). If planting in fall, it can be beneficial to protect seedlings with a cover through the winter.
Spinach is wind pollinated and growers interested in saving seed need to bear this in mind when planting their crops. Spinach will cross pollinate across varieties, however, it will not cross-pollinate with other members of the Beet family (including beets and chard). Spinach varieties can either be separated by 1/2 mile or bagged to prevent cross pollination. Spinach will not self-pollinate, so if bagging spinach, make sure that at least 10 plants are housed under the same bag, to ensure that they are able to pollinate each other. Bags need to be wind-proof to avoid pollination from outside. Shake plants together within bag frequently to insure pollination.
Sources: http://www.fedcoseeds.com/seeds/seed_saving.htm ; http://howtosaveseeds.com/seedsavingdetails.php#onions ; http://www.gardenguides.com/97759-harvest-spinach-seeds.html
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