Spinach Variety Pusa Vilayati Palak, A Highly Nutritious Leafy Vegetable for Malnutrition Problem

spinach variety
Pusa Vilayati Palak

Spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) is a green leafy vegetable grown in cool season and native to Central Asia. Its leaves along with succulent stems are eaten are a common edible vegetable consumed. It is diploid having chromosome number, 2n=2x=12. It belongs to family Chenopodiaceae. The plant is dioecious annual in nature. The sex expression is tetramorphic (extreme male plants having smaller plant and earlier flowering, vegetative male plants with larger plants, female plants having larger size and longer vegetative period, female plant having larger size and longer vegetative periods, and monoecious which are rare). The extreme male plants do not have any commercial use. In an improved variety extreme male plants are almost eliminated. In India it is grown in the hills. It is also grown in eastern part of Uttar Pradesh in winter season. Most of the places introduced varieties are grown in our country. It is very nutritive, especially rich in fibre & store house of vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid and riboflavin as well as minerals such as iron, calcium and phosphorous. It is very useful for constipation and overcoming problem of anaemia. Its leaves can be used in fresh as well as dry forms for consumption as vegetable and for preparation of roti/ puri/ parantha etc. with wheat flour. It can be used as a potential food crop for diversification of agriculture to newer areas, environmental sustainability and for combating the nutritional deficiency in human being in many parts of the world. This crop does not require high inputs and can be easily grown on agriculturally marginal lands. Seeing its potential as a rich source of antioxidants and other nutrients, nutritionally rich and high yielding variety, Pusa Vilayati Palak has been developed by the Division of Vegetable Science, ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi for cultivation during winter season. This variety has been developed by crossing Local Spinach (low yielding early bolter) and exotic variety Varginia Savoy (slow growing vigorous but sensitive to high temperature). Salient features of Spinach variety, Pusa Vilayati Palak are as follows: 

  • It is a prickly seeded variety having succulent stem and leaves. 

  • Plant is vigorous having completely green stem and leaves. 

  • Leaves are smooth, soft having pointed apex with slightly serrated margin. 

  • It is short duration crop suitable for 2 cuttings.  

  • It recorded high content of ascorbic acid, iron and calcium (65, 8 and 186 mg/100g respectively). 

  • It is suitable for autumn winter season for both plain and hilly areas. 

  • It gives an average green leaf yield of 12 t/ha.  

spinach variety
Spinach Variety

Package of practices of Spinach: Pusa Vilayati Palak Climate 

It is a cool season crop and tolerant to frost. At high temperature early flowering takes place. 


It can be grown on a variety of soils but sandy loam or loam soils are best suited than heavier soils. It is a moderately salt tolerant and can also be grown successfully in saline-sodic soils having pH6.5 to 7.5. It responds well to farm yard manures. 

Seed rate 

20 kg seed are required for direct sowing in one-hectare land.  

Seed treatment: before sowing seed should be treated with thiram @3g/kg seed or Trichoderma @5g/kg seed. 


It can be sown October onwards, but November is the best time for northern plain. The seed is sown in rows 30 cm apart at proper soil moisture. Plant to plant distance of 10 cm is maintained after germination by thinning extra plants. Apply pendimethalin @3lit /500litre of water on soil surface immediately after sowing and covering seeds. 

Manure and fertilizers 

A basal dose of 25-30 tonnes of farmyard manure per hectare should be incorporated in the soil at the time of preparation of land. Application of nitrogen fertilizer is the foremost requirement for leafy growth. N: P: K @ 50:50:50 kg/ha should be applied. It is also recommended to apply 30 kg urea per hectare as top-dressing after each cutting of the leaves or spray 1% solution of urea for quick regrowth. 


This crop requires less irrigation. However light irrigation should be given in 10-12 days interval. 

Intercultural operation 

One or two weeding or hoeing is required to keep the crop free of weeds i.e. 30 and 45 days after sowing. 


First harvest is available 40-45 days after seed sowing. Next harvests can be taken at about 20 days afterwards and 2-3 cuttings are possible till the crop starts flowering when the leaves become unfit for consumption.  


Average 12 t/ha green leaves are harvested in 2-3 cuttings. 

Seed production 

For seed production 20 kg seeds are sown in lines from 15th October to 15th November at a spacing of 60cm between rows and 10cm between plants within row. Isolation distance of 1600 m and 1000 m for foundation and certified seed production is kept respectively to prevent contamination by cross-pollination with a different variety of same crop, and also to prevent mechanical mixing of the seed during harvest. About 20-25 tonnes of farm yard manure along with 50 kg nitrogen, 50 kg phosphorus and 50 kg potash are applied to the soil at the time of field preparation. Two leaf cuttings are generally taken and after that it is left for seed production. An additional dose of 20 kg nitrogen/ha should be applied after each cutting. Rogueing should be done at pre flowering based on colour and shape of leaves and stem, flowering and post flowering stages. Regular supervision of seed production fields by trained personnel is required. Early bolter (flowering plant) should be removed. All the true males, which has few leaves should also be removed. Vegetative males and females are allowed to flower and seed set. All the local/wild/of type plants or weeds should be removed before flowering from nearby fields of seed crop to prevent cross pollination as spinach is a wind pollinated crop. The seed crop should be harvested at right stage of maturity. It takes around 120 to 150 days for seed maturity from sowing. After the plant is dried, it is threshed by beating with sticks or by mechanical thrasher. Seeds are cleaned by winnowing. Seeds must be dried properly to the safe moisture levels and packaged in moisture pervious or proof packaging. Around 6-7 q/ha seed yield can be obtained. 

Plant protection 

No serious insect-pest is observed in this crop. However, aphids may sometimes cause damage and spray of neem seed kernel extract (5%) can be done when ever required. In severe condition spraying of Malathion @ 2 ml/litre of water can also be done. 

Plant protection 


No serious insect-pest is observed. However, aphids may sometimes cause damage and can be controlled by spraying of malathion @ 2 ml/litre of water. Apply 5% solution of NSKE once or twice at 10 days intervals during active vegetative growth to control insects. 

Table1: Nutrient content of spinach: Pusa Vilayati Palak in respect to other major leafy vegetables. 


Carotenoids (mg/100g) 



µ moltrolox/ 


Beta carotene 


Ascorbic acid 

(mg/ 100g) 

Dry matter 








Pusa Vilayati Palak 








Local spinach 








Virginia Savoy 








Methi (PEB) 








Amaranth (PLC) 









(All Green ) 








Author Details

R.K. Yadav*, B.S. Tomar, H. Choudhary and Sumanlata 

Division of Vegetable Science, ICAR- IARI, New Delhi-12 

*Email of corresponding author: rkyadavneh@gmail.com 

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