How to Save Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) Seeds

Seed Saving Guide #2734
Family: Amaranthaceae
Binomial name: Spinacia oleracea

Flower Type Dioecious (male and female plants)
Pollination Wind pollinated
Isolation Distance 1000m
Other Isolation Methods Grow one variety for seed saving; harvest other varieties before they flower.
Population Required for Viable Seeds 10 with at least 1 male
Population Required to Maintain Variety 20-50
When to Harvest when seeds turn from green to tan
How to Harvest

Cut stalks when 2/3rds of the seeds are mature and leave to dry for 10 days

How to Clean

Run hands along seed stalks to remove seeds; remove chaff and stalks by seiving or winnowing.

Image of Seeds Spinach (Spinacia oleracea)

Isolation may not be necessary if generic seeds (rather than a specific variety) are desired. Pollen is very fine so isolation netting is often ineffective, but risk of cross-pollination is low as most home gardeners remove plants once they have bolted.

What is Seed Saving?

Seed saving is the practice of collecting and storing mature seeds from open-pollinated plants. By allowing plants to reach full maturity and harvesting the seeds, they can be cleaned, dried, and stored for future use. 

  • To learn the techniques and methods needed to save seeds in your garden, we recommend reading our seed saving series.
  • To view a combined table of all our seed saving guides view our Seed Saving Chart.
  • To browse our seed saving guides individually click here.