Spinach leaves taste best when younger; as the plant matures, the leaves can become bitter, especially if the plant has bolted. |
You can harvest by cutting just the outer leaves, leaving the inner leaves to grow larger, then cutting them at a later date, or cutting the whole plant about 1 inch above the soil line and allowing it to regrow for a second harvest.
During the warm months, alternatives to spinach include New Zealand spinach and Malabar spinach. These plants tolerate warm weather and have a taste similar to true spinach. Harvest New Zealand spinach in the summer by pinching the growing tips and stems. Harvest Malabar spinach by picking and eating the leaves.