Utilizing a greenhouse is a great way to continue to stay involved with your gardening efforts, despite the cooler temperatures and shorter days to come.
Some consider fall the “second spring,” the next best time to start planting tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, herbs and flowers—all carefully chosen for their ability to thrive in cooler seasons.
Of course, the gardener’s latitude, crop and other additional variables unique to the operation will determine where the seedlings will be started or transplanted.
To successfully take advantage of winter growing, get gardening keeping these tips in mind:
Know when to plant. If you know the average date of the first killing frost in your region, then you can determine when to plant your winter crops. Plant them early enough so they reach their full maturity before that killing frost. Local garden authorities can help provide such information and even what crops grow well in your area.
Make the most of natural sunlight. You’ll still be able to take advantage of heat provided by the sun, but also be prepared to provide supplemental lighting, especially if a long spell of overcast weather is forecast.
Select cold hardy plants. Lettuces, salad greens, scallions, spinach and kale will provide your winter salad fix. Tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, strawberries and herbs, such as basil, rosemary and thyme, will make excellent additions as well.
Know when to water. Start in the morning, as soon as the frost is gone, to give plants time to dry before the nighttime drop in temperatures. Watering deeply from time to time is a possibility so you don’t overwater, making plants less able to withstand cold. If you feel moisture about a half inch deep around the plant, you should err on the side of not watering.
Utilize natural ventilation as much as possible. Not only will this reduce your energy costs, but also you will reduce the stress on your plants that could be caused by leaving the greenhouse closed on a sunny day. Good ventilation is also good for disease prevention.
In addition to these tips, winter gardening can provide the perfect cure for the seasonal blues. Not only will the inside of your greenhouse feel a little more like spring (given that the sun is shining!), but also seeing the fruits of your labor can be extremely invigorating and satisfying during a dark and dreary winter.
Are you ready to prepare for winter growing? We have all the supplies you need! Give us a call at 1-800-531-4769 to speak with one of our friendly representatives or visit our website www.GothicArchGreenhouses.com to learn more.