Ups and Downs in the Greenhouse

As many of you already know, this gardening blog started back in 2016 by sharing information and tips on four season greenhouse growing. For one, I wanted to explain how winter salad growing is possible and second, to get you all on your way with season extension. But, with any gardening project there are always ups and downs! Time to take a quick look at how my greenhouses are doing this winter.

2017 saw such a warm fall, that I hesitated to pull my climbing cucumbers and tomatoes out of the greenhouse. When I finally did it still seemed much too warm to be planting. All of the salad greens in my unheated 12×20 gambrel greenhouse were planted in November. Pretty late for winter growing. Between the long periods of cold and possibly too many mice, my greens are looking quite pathetic. I do know that enough of the kale seeds spread so there will be plenty of fresh seedlings in the spring!
Winter greens can be the best greens!

The floating row covers are in place for added protection over the greens. I’ve been trying to keep adequate moisture in the greenhouse by adding a bit of snow to the stone floor. This may sound strange but the snow melts gradually then adds much needed moisture to the micro-climate inside the unheated greenhouse. Things can dry out even in winter. Next chance that I get I will organize my potting bench and get ready for spring.
Clearing away the snow load with a foam car scraper.

Keeping the snow load off of the greenhouse roof is also important. I use a car snow cleaner. It gently sweeps the snow off without damaging my expensive greenhouse plastic. The plastic is real greenhouse grade plastic. We put it on the greenhouse in 2009 and I’d like to get a salad many years as possible out of it. There’s are also 2×4 pieces of wood bracing the center of the greenhouse for extra support. Winter maintenance in the unheated greenhouse is minimal but necessary.
Using my Victorinox serrated harvest knife.

Our outside mini greenhouse got off to a great start. The greens were at the point of harvesting in November. Some of the plastic came free during a recent wind storm but I buttoned it up and it hasn’t budged since. I did a quick greens inspection and found everything was doing well.
Greenhouse surrounded by snow.

Depending on the weather, I can harvest greens from the greenhouse through the winter. This winter I’ve been leaving them alone in hopes of an abundant spring. Maybe even in February I can start picking.
60-70 degrees in the greenhouse.

There are always ups and downs in the greenhouse, in every garden for that matter. Greenhouse growing has been a fun challenge for me. Most of the time things go well. Every few years, things tend to fail a little. Overall, four season growing is successful and I’m looking forward to seeing how my greens do this spring. If winter gardening is a new concept for you, click on the blue links above. The Everlongardener site has many articles to get you started and to see how I began! I hope that you are knee deep in gardening plans this months! Thanks for checking out my site and don’t forget to subscribe for more weekly posts!

Snowy hydrangeas!

2 thoughts on “Ups and Downs in the Greenhouse”

  1. Inspiring! Food growing in January–that is so terrific. Even a small bowl of greens is a fresh treat.
    You are intrepid. Thank you for your post. Holly

  2. There is nothing like heading out to the greenhouse in the middle of winter. Reminds me I am due for my January visit to the greenhouse at the garden center for some color therapy.

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