Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Greenhouse Transition to Winter

With temperatures expected to be around 6° F in the next a few days (yikes!), it is time to transition the greenhouse from summer to winter. Right now, the greenhouse is over filled with Thai peppers, eggplants, basil and tomatoes - all plants that are not too cold tolerant. Some of these plants are in the ground beds in the greenhouse, some are in pots that we had growing outside this summer.

It is still very warm in the greenhouse during the day when the air temperatures have been in the 40's. Our goal is to grow hardy cool season vegetables in the greenhouse in the winter.

When the nights began cooling, I moved our potted eggplants and peppers from outside into the greenhouse and I also dug up and potted many of the Thai peppers we had growing in our outdoor raised beds. This totally filled the greenhouse.

It has been a great summer and start to the greenhouse life, and we are looking forward to more to come. The pepper and basil harvest is so much better inside the greenhouse that next year we probably won’t grow any outside or those that we do, we will grow in pots so we can bring them in when the nights get cool. We did this this year and we got several more weeks out of our peppers.

There is lots to do for the greenhouse for the fall/ winter:
I started seeds for broccoli and brussel sprouts already (see below), these will go into the ground bed, once the tomatoes, eggplants and peppers are done. Next up (maybe tonight) I'll start spinach and lettuce that we'll grow in flats on the greenhouse shelves. Later, we'll plant radishes, carrots and the broccoli and brussel sprout starts in the ground bed. I will also make a cold frame for the in ground bed- this will add more insulation for those vegetables (about 10 degrees F, or about 1 zone). I also need to add a solar pool cover for insulation to the glazed south wall, and some metal 50 gallon drums to the north side for water and solar mass. Soon we activate our compost furnace - stay tuned for the results there.

Lots to do, the cold really snuck up on me this year.


  1. Doesn't the cold always sneak up, though?

  2. BTW:

    1) I adore the greenhouse. Simply adore it. I'm going to have build one.
    2) 6 degrees.

  3. I love the greenhouse too. Interesting to see how you use it, for growing food. I'm learning about creating controlled environments for propagation, so that I will know what I need before investing time and money in a more permanent structure. Not so cold where I am, and I find I need to adjust the light and heat down rather than up (so far) - and keep the humidity up. It's good to be out of the wind. for plants and people both. I enjoyed the interior shots of your greenhouse, that quality of cool white light you caught - it's so evocative. Makes me think of a pleasant clarity, like I would think straight in there, with a cup of tea in hand.

  4. But anyway you eat product that you grow by yourself!!!