Saturday, May 24, 2014

Greenhouse, Heart of Winter: Year 1

To wrap up the first year of gardening in the greenroom – March 2013 to the present, May 2014 – I wanted to write up our greenhouse growing successes and failures. This first year was highly experimental, especially growing through what I’m calling the “heart of winter,” and I think we learned some very interesting things that will help guide next year’s plantings, both the timing and the varieties. I’m more interested in “heart of winter” greenhouse gardening than mere summer-season extension gardening because this is all the fresh garden produce we get during the middle of winter. Shoulder season (spring/fall) crops and using the greenhouse to extend the summer season will be discussed in other posts; this is all about what we tried, succeeded, and failed to grow during the coldest and darkest months of the year.

Attempted crops for the heart of winter greenhouse season included basil, beets, Brussels sprouts, chard, cucumber, kale, lettuce, okra, peas, peppers, radish, tomato, and a few herbs. The short version: we’re going to become radish farmers! Much, much more detail is given below.

Heart of Winter” Summary:
Successes: Beets, Chard, Coriander, Kale, Lettuce, Radish, Tomato
Semi-successes: Basil, Broccoli, Leeks, Hot Peppers
Failures: Brussels Sprouts, Cucumber, Okra, Parsley, Peas, Thyme