An Update On Our Winter Gardening Project

With every passing week we wonder if winter will ever come. I mean, they say it’s coming, but the daytime high today will be 10 degrees Celsius. That is hardly winter worthy. A few months ago we had the goal of installing a small greenhouse in our backyard. Today we’d like to give you an update on how this small winter gardening project is doing.

The Produce

We’ve been able to harvest a number of hearty greens through the fall season. The pictures above capture most of what we’re growing and harvesting: arugula, beets, leaf lettuce, kale and parsley.

Gone is our last green pepper plant which gave us 4 small peppers in late November. What isn’t captured in the images above are the two rows of garlic we planted.

It’s now mid-December in our region (Southwestern Ontario, Zone 6A) and the next few weeks will continue to have highs and lows well above seasonal averages. Based on the chart below you can see that we’ll have temperatures above 2 degrees Celsius till the end of the year.

If we can capitalize on the daily sun our greenhouse temperatures can sore into the mid-teens (celsius) and provide our remaining plants with enough heat to do a little more than just survive.

The Greenhouse

Installed in September, our Outsunny greenhouse is performing very well through this season. It was recently reinforced and repaired and has been keeping our plants warm and protected. It shines on sunny days as we’ve recorded greenhouse temperatures above 15 degrees Celsius with outdoor temperatures of 5 degrees.

Keeping snow off the structure has not been a major concern since we’ve barely received any snow. And on some days it managed the snow removal itself thanks to the internal temperature of the greenhouse.

Other Winter Gardening Thoughts

I’ve spotted what might be some green moss growing in one of the garden beds. This might be in response to the cool temperatures and high humidity levels in the greenhouse. Figuring out a way to lower the humidity in our greenhouse is next on my list of to-dos for this project.

The arugula we sowed months ago in this pot has stalled. It started out doing so well, but we think the fact it is in a single pot means that the earth is simply not retaining enough heat over night to keep the seeds happy.

Winter Gardening Tools

Gardening in the winter requires an open mind, a resourceful attitudes and some useful tools:

2 Thoughts

  1. I don’t think the arugula has a temperature problem, but rather an over-crowded problem. As the plants are struggling to get larger, their roots are in competition with one another for nutrients. Also, growth naturally slows as the days get shorter and shorter. Thinning them out may help, and as the days begin to lengthen, growth will occur.

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