If you love gardening, you probably can’t wait for winter to come to an end. Nothing can be more frustrating than those first weeks of spring when the snow keeps falling and the temperatures stay below freezing, while you’re itching to get out your trowel and start planting again. Buying your own backyard greenhouse can extend your gardening season deep into the winter, letting you start earlier in the season and keep growing as the snow starts to fall.
Cold season vegetables provide a steady source of fresh delights for your kitchen and your friends. If you’re a hobby farmer, you can even learn about the market crops that are most in-demand in the winter.
These are some of the vegetables you can start growing in the winter or preparing earlier in the spring season with the help of a greenhouse in your backyard.
One of several dark, leafy greens that are great for winter growing, spinach is an easy winter vegetable to use every day. It’s a standard greenhouse crop that requires a lot of water and requires you to avoid extreme temperature shifts. Keep an eye on the interior temperature of your greenhouse if you’re growing spinach.
Kale, Collards, and Swiss chard
Three more leafy greens that are hardy enough to grow throughout the cold season, these are great for extending your growing season when you otherwise might not be growing anything at all. They’re best planted in the early fall or the late winter to get the most out of them. Kale is also one of a number of cold season vegetables that actually taste better after a frost because of the way their starches turn into sucrose, a kind of natural anti-freeze that prevents the cold from damaging the plant.
Carrots are more often grown outside as a simple row cover can keep them growing well. But keeping them in a greenhouse makes it easier to harvest, especially if the ground is muddy outside. The ability to control the moisture in a greenhouse makes it easier to harvest carrots when they’re ready.
Though herbs are one of the most demanding plants to grow, if you’re an attentive gardener who loves having fresh basil, thyme, or cilantro to work with, they’re an ideal use of your greenhouse. You’ll need good temperature-control to keep herbs thriving in a greenhouse, but if you can give them the care and attention they need, you won’t be disappointed.
A backyard greenhouse can also help you prepare produce to be planted outside when the conditions are ideal. Start your growing season early by sowing cabbage, celeriac, onions, Brussels sprouts, and other hardy vegetables in the late winter to early spring. As the ground thaws and the weather improves, you can move these outside. With the extended growing season, you’ll enjoy more fresh produce and healthier vegetables. As you make room in your greenhouse, you can move onto fast-growing plants like squashes, pumpkins, and cucumbers. Your own greenhouse will keep even the most adamant gardener busy.