Year-round Greenhouse Salad

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by whodunit, Jun 5, 2004.

  1. whodunit

    whodunit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We just moved to a place with a greenhouse with raised beds. I would like to grow all the fixin's for salad, i.e. lettuce, tomatoes, onions, anything else that's tasty and do this year-round. Is this possible? I obviously don't know much about gardening.

    We live in North Central Idaho where there are two seasons...winter and August! But seriously, we are at about 1750 feet and the winters get into the teens at times. Would this be possible without heat since the beds are raised?

    Any suggestions, ideas, abusive remarks?
     
  2. PonderosaQ

    PonderosaQ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A little more info would help us answer this question for you. Are you planning on heating the greenhouse in the cooler months and if so what type of nighttime temp are you planning on maintaining? The temp requirements of lettuce and tomtaoes and cucumbers are VERY different.

    That said if you go to Mother Earth News site and hunt around you will find some excellent info on year round gardening in a greenhouse in VT. They employ such techniques as covering those raised beds again with plastic or remay to create a mini environment within the greenhouse. There are many other salad greens than lettuce , some of which thrive in cooler temps than lettuce does. Even varieties of lettuce vary in their hardiness.

    I realise you said you don't know much about gardening but there are lots of people here that would be happy to help you learn if you can give us a little more info. Wish I had that greenhouse! I just moved and am without one right now! Care to tell us about it...size...made of ...etc?

    Ponderosa Q
     

  3. Michael83705

    Michael83705 Well-Known Member

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    Greenhouse for tomatoes etc. or a cool one for lettuce. I grew the tomatoes indoors this past winter and will have a coldframe or greenhouse that is cool to get sorrel, spinach and maybe lettuce through the winter. Have you ever noticed tomatoes like long hot days and salad stuff just trys to bolt when this happens? If you don't want to heat much, I would grow salad and onions etc. and have a "cool" greenhouse in the winter then start in it during spring when you can put salad stuff outside as it heats up and finally put your tomatoes and peppers outside. Start it back in the fall, late tomato starts to be moved indoors or a small easier to heat portion, salad stuff to overwinter... you get the idea. It has to be cycled ahead of the seasons. Another note, when in the teens, your salad stuff will probably survive, but not produce much if at all for a month or two, so you need to freeze or can some to get through this.

    Also, it does depend on materials, location etc. of the greenhouse. Start recording temperatures and get a record from the previous owner if possible. This will help you plan a lot. If not all winter, you should get greatly extended growing seasons :)

    ~Enjoy!

    ~Michael in Boise
     
  4. MOgal

    MOgal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Whodunit, I'm in central Missouri, zone 5, just under 1000' but I've got 2 unheated hoop houses--think walk-in cold frame--that we use to produce salad vegetables all winter. I have used Eliot Coleman's book on 4 season harvests extensively and his outlines work. We use floating row cover suspended over the beds with homemade wickets and select varieties that are known for their cold hardiness.

    Overnight the vegetables will freeze but as soon as the temperatures in the house rise above 32o, they look completely normal. You harvest in that period when the veggies are thawed and carefully and quickly take them to the house. Use a cooler with some towels to wrap things in, and even a bottle of warm water if that's what it takes. If I go directly, I can get away with a bucket with a lid on it.

    I have one bed that is taller than the others, held in place by wooden boards, but the rest are just a bit higher than the walkways. I have put copious amounts of compost on them but no other fertilizer. For the last 2 years I sold our excess at a natural food store. When the owner had a family health crisis, she opted to close her store and at her going away party, I met a number of people who had bought the salad makings. All had kind words about the quality, textures, colors and flavors of the lettuces, etc., that I had packaged and several gave me their email addresses so that I might contact them this coming winter.

    Good luck.
     
  5. whodunit

    whodunit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks all! Well, I've started with a couple tomato plants and we also want to grow some herbs and such for cooking. I guess we'll just get started and see what develops.
     
  6. george darby

    george darby Well-Known Member

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    eliot coleman wrote an exelent book on year round gardening several years ago , his point is that if he can do it in maine it should be even easyer in most other places, ive used some of the ideas im just too busy to do everything, the book should be in your local library.