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can I use this to grow in winter?

Posted by kawaiineko_gardener 5a ( on
Fri, Mar 4, 11 at 17:38

By Winter I mean stuff that is hardy enough it can be grown in winter as long as it has protection.

I was thinking of a miniature greenhouse? I found one that is 3' x 5'. The other standard hobby greenhouses are just too big and not an option, as I have limited space
for gardening.

My question is what crops are candidates for growing in winter?

I'd like to do root crops (carrots, turnips, rutabaga, beets, and big white asian radishes) as well as leafy green stuff (asian greens such as pak choi, which is baby bok Choi, regular chinese cabbage, lettuce, spinach, chard,
purslane, sorrel, and mache, which is also known as lamb's lettuce and also corn salad).

Other candidates are broccoli, cauliflower, etc.

I have a very short growing season (it starts in April for cool weather crops ends in October-November, December if I'm really fortunate). Live in the upper part of the lower peninsula in Michigan.

I do container gardening, so that's essentially what would be going into the greenhouse; it has to be big enough to hold the containers with the veggies in them.

Please note that this is just for future reference; I can't do so now, but it's something I'd like to do in the future.

Could I also use the greenhouse to transplant vegetables out earlier that like warm weather (this is NOT a substitute for starting seedling transplants indoors!) This would just be to get them out sooner to get a jump start on the growing season.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: can I use this to grow in winter?

An unheated cold frame or tiny greenhouse should give you around 10 or 15 degrees of protection plus the wind protection. With top insulation or snow cover on cold nights you might sqeeze out two zones of protection.
Small heating cables are another possibility. I know of some who use a pet water heater on their tropical plants.

RE: can I use this to grow in winter?

Just finished my first winter with a garden. It was fun! Those are the plants you want. Think of the garden as a big fridge that holds your veggies all winter. If the plants are big enough by the time winter sets in, you just go out and cut what you need. When Feb 2 comes, the plants go crazy.

We LOVED having our low tunnels.

Best performers were mache, lettuce mizuna and claytonia. Also had tat soi, arugula, beets.

Read one of Elliot Coleman's books, then you will know all.


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