The end of summer brings the end of the bounty that our vegetable gardens bless us with throughout the summer, but there are many ways to extend your season by growing cold crops inside a greenhouse. A greenhouse, even without a heater, can keep many cold hardy vegetables producing for you throughout the winter months.
Placement of your greenhouse is a crucial factor in the success of your winter growing. Make sure to place your greenhouse where it will get the optimal amount of sun with an east to west orientation. If possible, place your greenhouse up against the south side of your house. The south side is where it will receive the greatest amount of sun throughout the day. Having it against your home will help insulate it and keep the temperatures up with the ambient heat from your home.
What can I grow?
There are many cold hardy vegetables that can produce for you throughout the winter months. A good rule of thumb is to only plant varieties that do not produce a fruiting body. Leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, chard and kale can be harvested from the bottom as the plant continues to grow. This gives you a continual harvest through the colder months. Root vegetables like carrots, turnip, beet and radish are something that can be seeded in early October and will be ready to eat for your Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. Then there are your brassicas, such as cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli and brussel sprouts that will be harvestable in early spring. Cilantro, thyme and parsley are great cold hardy herbs that are able to tolerate the lower temperatures and can be cut and continue to grow. There are flowers that will withstand the winter temperatures with a little added protection as well. Snapdragons, violas and pansies can also be grown to add a bit of color into those gray months.
Elisa Clark , Horticulturist, CLT, CNP & Master Gardener
Flutterby Gardens Landscaping, LLC - Owner www.goflutterby.com
North End Organic Nursery - Owner www.northendnursery.com
2350 Hill Rd Boise, Id 83702