I promised a tour of the greenhouse, and here it is finally. It is a happening place this time of year, though not always very photogenic. Right now the middle aisle is crammed full of container grown plants. I had to move some of the mints out to make room to get in there. The mints don’t grow much over the winter, but they do come out earlier in the spring to give us a jump on the season.
The two small beds are planted with greens that can survive the winter. Currently I have lettuce and chard planted in the bed on the left side. The lettuces are ready to start harvesting, and I plan to cut some later today. I should be able to cut the larger leaves and leave the plants to grow more. That’s the Italian heirloom Radichetta lettuce in the below photo. I also have Brown Goldring, Simpson Elite and Forellenshluss (aka Spotted Trout) growing in that bed. Radichetta is a leaf lettuce that grows very upright and has a thick crunchy stem much like a romaine lettuce.
The chard is definitely big enough for cutting, and I have already harvested some of it. I’m growing the mild tasting Verde da Taglio variety. I won’t get a whole lot from the plants this winter, but it is welcome to have any fresh greens in the short days of winter!
On the other side of the greenhouse I have arugula, lettuce, spinach and parsley planted. The arugula is a mix of varieties. The lettuce includes Tom Thumb, Simpson Elite, Oakleaf and Red Sails. I’m using shredded paper for mulch, in case you wonder what all the white stuff is.
The Simpson Elite lettuce is one of my favorites for wilting. With any luck, I will see a wilted lettuce salad in my near future!
I’ve got both flat leaf and curly parsley growing in the bed. I know the flat leaf parlsey is supposed to be the best tasting, but I use both in the kitchen. Both grow well in the winter greenhouse, and parlsey is one of my favorite herbs. The leaves are jumbled together in the below photo but I have four plants total growing in the bed.
Hanging out in a container is an Aji Angelo pepper plant. The seeds for this C. baccatum variety were given to me by Michelle. I brought the container into the greenhouse before the first frost, when it was still covered in green peppers. I have harvested them as needed, some green and some red. The one in the below photo went into a batch of chili I made this week. It’s a real treat to have a ripe pepper here in December!
I’m bringing the container in the house today. The temperatures are forecast to plummet tonight and for the next few days, and I don’t want the pepper plant to freeze. Aji Angelo was very prolific last year, and I’m hoping I can get this plant to live through the winter. I want to set it out in the ground next spring so I can get a jump on the growing season. The little electric space heater I keep in the greenhouse won’t be able to supply enough heat to keep things from freezing up, so I will bring anything else in that can’t take the cold.
The greenhouse benches are full of potted plants including chives, rosemary and several small figs. It’s nice to have a few fresh herbs in winter, and the chives and rosemary do well in the greenhouse.
I’ve also got a salad box planted with some Golden Corn Salad that Michelle was kind enough to share with me.
The seed was sown fairly thickly, and I plan on eating the thinnings as they get big enough. The mache will be another nice treat to have this winter, when the supply of fresh greens from the garden is fairly limited.
I hope you have enjoyed this peek at our greenhouse in December. The greenhouse was a retirement present to myself, and I have really enjoyed having it. All the plants in there are snug and protected from the snow, sleet and freezing rain that we are getting today. I’ll be back soon with more news from Happy Acres.