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Stephanie Donaldson, from Country Living Magazine, has kindly contributed the following tips for Cultivar Greenhouse customers who are keen to derive the benefits from a greenhouse harvest over the winter months:
Things may be slowing down in your garden at the moment, but with a bit of planning you can be picking fresh green leaves right through the winter with the help of your greenhouse!
There are a number of winter greenhouse plants which will sustain the colder months with a little bit of TLC. Most seed companies offer a selection of winter salad seeds including the likes of mizuna, mustard, kale, rocket, purslane and land cress.
All of these winter greenhouse plants do better in the cooler months of the year, although this late on they will be slow to grow into large plants because of the reduction in the number of hours of daylight. That is unless you are lucky enough to have growlights which are used by most commercial growers.
Assuming that you don’t have this facility, if you sow these winter greenhouse plants in smaller batches you may find that you are picking them as tasty microgreens or baby leaves within weeks. Heat is not essential when it comes to greenhouse growing in winter months, but it will speed up the process.
If you have any surplus late-summer-sown winter vegetables such as Swiss chard, perpetual spinach and cavolo nero that didn’t quite make it into the garden, they can be planted in the greenhouse, or if you are quick off the mark you may still be able to pick up some vegetable plugs from your local garden centre.
These can make ideal winter greenhouse plants if you grow them in the greenhouse border or in the growbags that previously housed the tomatoes. In either of these instances, they should provide regular pickings throughout the cooler months!
Greenhouse growing in the Winter will prove less fruitful if you are working without heating equipment. Nonetheless, these little tastes of freshness will no doubt prove to be very welcome indeed.
Massive thanks to Stephanie for providing us with her Winter Harvest tips which proves that you can still benefit from your greenhouse in the coming months regardless of what the weather has in store.
There is however one additional tip that we would like to highlight to our readers, namely growing potatoes in winter greenhouses. You can ensure that you have a fresh supply of your favourite varieties of potato all year long with the help of a one gallon plastic bag, which can be purchased from most gardening centres.
Simply put approximately three inches of screened garden soil mixed with compost into each bag before burying a tuber about one inch down. Place the bags in a warm area in your greenhouse and gently water them.
As soon as shoots reach 3-4 inches, it is recommended that you then add more soil and compost until approximately an inch of the sprout is still showing. You should continue this process until the soil/compost mixture is approximately an inch away from the top of the bag.
With the right care and attention, growing potatoes in your Winter Greenhouse really can be as easy as that.