Growing crops in the greenhouse for winter eating

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emo1956
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Growing crops in the greenhouse for winter eating

Postby emo1956 » Mon Aug 17, 2020 5:36 pm

Hi Team

Back in March, at the start of lockdown, we built a small lean-to greenhouse (only 2.4 metres x 0.7 metres. I would like to sow seeds over the next few weeks (to the end of September) in bags and containers, to grow in the greenhouse. The greenhouse is twin-wall polycarbonate sheets and has no form of heating, but I intend to clad it internally with bubble wrap for added insulation. It will only get direct sunlight during the winter months from noon until 3pm

I don't want to sow seeds in modules ready for planting out in the garden next year, but to sow them directly into growing bags and containers so they grow on over the next couple of months and will be available to eat during the winter months.

I have in mind Spinach - Cello F1, Chinese Kale, Spring Onions - White Lisbon, Chives, Claytonia - Winter Purslane, Coriander, American land cress, Dill, Parsley - plain leaved, Radish - French Breakfast and Black Spanish Round - and a mixture in each bag or container sow successively. I'm not looking for large amounts at a time, but things I can pick at - taking just enough as and when I need it - and enough for two.

I have only been vegetable gardening for 2 years and favour the grid-gardening method in raised beds in the garden (hence the mixed bags/pots).

Any suggestions for other veg/greens that can be grown in this way would be welcome.

Thank you

Eileen
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Colin2016
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Re: Growing crops in the greenhouse for winter eating

Postby Colin2016 » Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:39 am

Grew lettuce couple years back and just used the leaves I wanted. The ones in the ground took over so ended up using whole plant, found that the plastic mushroom baskets were ideal.

Thinking of doing planing a couple Kale in the ground (not basket) this year.
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Monika
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Re: Growing crops in the greenhouse for winter eating

Postby Monika » Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:32 am

It might help if we knew where you are, emo1956, because stuff will survive better in an unheated greenhouse in more favourable places.
I have tried winter lettuce, radish and annual/biannual herbs in our unheated glass greenhouse, but find that because of the lack of winter sunshine, it takes ages for them to grow and the lettuce leaves become rather tough, not at all like a quick-grown summer crop.
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Re: Growing crops in the greenhouse for winter eating

Postby Primrose » Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:37 am

Swiss chard is more hardy than spinach I find and the young leaves are very useful for eating in salads. Worth a try
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emo1956
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Re: Growing crops in the greenhouse for winter eating

Postby emo1956 » Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:46 am

Forgot to say, I'm in North East Wales and halfway up a small Welsh Mountain. :-D
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Westi
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Re: Growing crops in the greenhouse for winter eating

Postby Westi » Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:28 pm

Agree with Primrose about the chard, very versatile vegetable & very colourful & bright to cheer on the dimmest days. The stems can be used in stir fries, baby leaves in salads, bigger leaves as a wrap like you do for cabbage or just a gratin. I would suggest some Lambs lettuce & mixed spicy salad leaves as they are a bit tougher.

Probably the best thing you can do though is make sure it is well secured - they are light with the polycarbonate & that is quite a small one so now's the time to add extra ties & really heavy bricks or pavers to secure them.

Welcome to the forum by the way emo! Good post & many others have dipped a toe in the water with a new structure so maybe the KG guys could squeeze in a space in the mag for protecting these small but valuable greenhouses as they can be vulnerable. Mind current weather is testing them dependent on where you live!
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Re: Growing crops in the greenhouse for winter eating

Postby Primrose » Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:22 am

I agree with Westi that securing your lightweight greenhouse against heavy winds should probably be a priority now before autumn and winter storms arrive. Just one strong gust of wind could demolish the lot as I found to my cost some years ago when a strong gust blew over my mini plastic greenhouse, located against the house, wall over onto our patio causing the loss of virtually my newly sown spring vegs.

These structures are never very robust. I learnt the lesson. My husband drilled two bolts into the house wall I to which we strapped a very long nylon luggage strap which was wrapped & secured around the structure at two thirds of its height. Since then it's has survived through several violent storms and gusts without incident.

Your greenhouse will obviously need a different technique but some fully somebody on here may be able to come up with some suitable suggestions to help you protect it. It may be worth contacting the manufacturers, who will obviously be aware of the problem, to see if they have any suggestions. I,m surprised, given the fact that climate change is producing more uNreliable weather, that storm protection hasnt t started to appear on their agendas.

Ps. Sorry, having reread your post, I realise this was a home built greenhouse, not a commercial one. Could yiu have two anchoring bolts screwed into the structure above which it is attached and two strong ropes or straps coming down to anchor it into the ground.?

By the way, welcome to the forum! Good to see some new faces!
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Re: Growing crops in the greenhouse for winter eating

Postby emo1956 » Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:29 pm

Hi Westi and Primrose.

Thanks for the warm welcome and for tips re securing greenhouse, but it is a home-built design of sturdy 3"x4" posts and horizontals firmly bolted to a brick shed wall. The narrow side faces into the prevailing wind. Unless we have a hurricane, it's going nowhere. :-)

I've ordered in lots of seeds - salad leaves, spicy mix, oriental mix, red mustard etc, and already sowed radish, chives, American land cress, pea shoots and mizuna in the potting shed to get me started. I hoping for a continuing crop, not too much of one thing at any one time, picking smaller leaves but more often.
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