Whether you are a homesteader, a farmer, or a commercial gardener, growing vegetables in a greenhouse can be a productive endeavor. Especially during the winter months when it becomes difficult—if not impossible—to grow vegetables outdoors. Ensure your growing season extends into the colder months by planting these vegetables in your winter greenhouse.
Here Are the Best Vegetables to Grow in a Winter Greenhouse
Cabbages, kales, collard greens, broccoli, and brussels sprouts are hearty vegetables that store large amounts of food reserves in their leaves during the winter. This makes them extremely rich in essential nutrients (such as Vitamin C), as well as an easy vegetable to plant in a winter greenhouse. In fact, in many areas, cruciferous vegetables can grow in an unheated greenhouse so long as they have access to full sun exposure (our BTL-12 Clear Greenhouse Cover allows 80% UV transfer).
If you choose to plant cruciferous vegetables in the ground, you may benefit from using row covers. This will not only protect your vegetables from frost in the early winter, but it will protect them from aphids and other garden pests as well. Metal hoops can be secured over the plants and fitted with a BTL greenhouse cover material to help your crops grow faster, mature quicker, and avoid pitfalls such as pests and poor weather.
Onions and Garlic
Onions, green onions, shallots, and garlic are some of the easiest vegetables to grow in a winter greenhouse. Planted in the fall, these bulbous crops do not require much upkeep and can pretty much grow themselves all winter long. The onion family has a relatively long growing cycle as they aren’t harvested until the spring or summer—but they are well worth the wait! Grow them in nutrient-rich, well-drained soil that is high in sulfur content to enrich their naturally pungent flavor.
Parsnips, carrots, beets, and potatoes are winter vegetables that can tolerate cooler temperatures quite well. Kept at around 50 degrees Fahrenheit, with plenty of mineral-rich soil, and well thinned out, these vegetables can thrive under cover for harvest in the spring. In fact, many of them are so resilient that they can be planted outdoors. Protected by the soil, parsnips, carrots, and beets can resist extreme temperatures and even frost. Some say they even taste better when harvested after the first frost!
Strawberries and Raspberries
Though berries love a good frost, it can help to bring them indoors once the weather turns overly cold or snowy. Wait until January, when the berries have experienced a few frosty days, then bring them into the greenhouse so they can plump up in time for spring. Remove any leaves or stems that have died in the cold, then replant in peat-free compost. Keep in mind that berries need to be pollinated. That means if you bring them indoors you’ll have to pollinate them yourself. Brush pollen between the flowers using a small brush. By the time May rolls around your berries will be the talk of the town.
Tomatoes and Peppers
For those of you with heated greenhouses, there are plenty of options for indoor growing. Tomatoes and peppers, for example, require plenty of sun and heat. They can have access to both of those things in a sunny climate with a well-heated greenhouse. To grow tomatoes in your winter greenhouse, first, take a look at how much room you have. Some tomato varieties can grow big and bushy, taking up several feet of space for every crop you plant. Make sure to prune side shoots to keep your tomatoes growing up, not out.
BTL Liners makes woven greenhouse covers that are more durable, more light efficient, and more economical than greenhouse glass. Our greenhouse covers allow 80%-87% UV transfer, which means plants get the maximum amount of sunlight they can even in the darker winter months. Contact us for more information. We’d love to help you keep on growing—even in the winter.