Here in Southern Ontario we are experiencing one of the more severe winters in recent history. More snow, much colder temps and certainly less sunshine. Compared to other winters, it certainly isn’t as pleasant harvesting in the greenhouse without the sun, but I am still delighted that I can do it and have fresh greens.
My greenhouses are unheated and are covered by a single layer of plastic.
I cover my crops with a single layer of agricultural fabric and that makes all the difference in the world. I generally scatter my seed in late September for my winter crops and water until I have germination. Then Mother Nature is on her own. I don’t water, weed, or worry about bugs!
Generally I find my crops continue to grow into the first week of November, then growth stops, and the crop simply holds. I can’t harvest most days until 10-11am, as leaves are frozen solid before that.
The taste of winter greens is totally different. The frost makes leaves so sweet-I have to stop myself from eating too much when I’m out there.
The most successful greens for me in the winter are kales, chards,arugulas and mustards. This year I liked the purple mizuna, leaf radish, and claytonia, as well as tatsoi, and minutina. Usually winter lettuces will carry on through the winter, but this winter has been a bit too cold. ( Note, the micro-greens in the picture were grown indoors under lights.)
As much as I am glad to be able to grow all winter, I really was hoping that the groundhog had not seen his shadow yesterday. 6 more weeks of winter, here we come!
Tree and Twig Heirloom Vegetable Farm