Diseases, pests and weeds
Spinach can be affected by a range of diseases or insect pests. It is susceptible to attack by root knot nematode and beet cyst nematode. It may also be attacked by aphids, grubs, snails and weevils.
The fungal disease Fusarium root rot may be a problem in summer resulting in plants wilting and dying. A good rotation will help to control this disease.
Weeds can be a problem when cropping first commences with baby leaf spinach, but regular cropping and short harvesting cycles do not allow most weeds to flower and set seed. Baby leaf is a high value crop and can usually sustain the cost of limited hand weeding. Weed seed burden can be reduced prior to planting by deliberately irrigating the site a number of times after cultivation and then spraying with a contact herbicide or cultivating before weeds grow too big.
The registration and availability of chemicals for pest, disease and weed control changes regularly. Consult a trained and experienced horticultural agronomist or the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) website for chemicals which are currently registered or have a permit for use on this crop. The information on the label or permit for a chemical must be followed including the directions for use, critical use comments, withholding period and maximum residue limit. Quality assurance (QA) schemes for horticultural crop production require producers to have current information on chemical registrations and permits readily available.