It’s been quite a while since I gave a tour of the greenhouse. I like to show what’s going (and growing) on in there occasionally, partly for my own benefit to visually document things. I just got around to replanting the greenhouse beds in the last couple of weeks, and I can look at another tour from this time last year and see that things were a little further along then. This year I planted more fall salad greens in the cold frame beds, and less in the greenhouse. So we still have gotten plenty of greens for salads, but they have been coming from the cold frames and not the greenhouse. You can see the potting bench on the right in the below photo.
A peek inside the left side of the greenhouse shows my new red cedar potting table. Right now the top surface is mostly covered with overwintering herbs like chives, rosemary and mint. The bottom shelf is used to hold containers and potting mixes. Under the table I have still more containers and flats which aren’t being used at the moment.
I divided some of the mints back in late summer, and potted them up to have this winter. They won’t make much new growth now, but I can harvest the leaves for tea while they last. And then the plants will take off quickly next year and give us mint before the outside plants start growing.
I keep potted chives growing in the greenhouse year-round. I re-pot them at least annually, and occasionally cut them back to force new growth. I often reach for fresh chives to use in the kitchen. Tonight some are going in a homemade ranch-style dressing.
Also on the table top is a mini salad box I planted yesterday in arugula. It’s one hardy green that I try and have available year round, and also a favorite in the kitchen. This is my own Cold Hardy arugula strain that I got by saving seed from a bed planted with Even’ Star and Ice-Bred arugula. Those are supposed to be extra-hardy strains, though I have to say most arugula I plant seem to make it through the winter here just fine.
I planted another mini salad box with a mix of Asian greens including pak choi, tatsoi, komatsuna, mizuna and mizspoona. That should give us some baby (or micro) greens for salads and soups in a few weeks. I gave both salad boxes a good drink of fish emulsion water to give them some soluble nitrogen and get them off and growing.
Moving on to the beds, I still have a nice patch of cilantro growing from a June planting. It’s a strain called Calypso, and it has not yet bolted to seed, which is pretty amazing for cilantro. I planted another variety called Caribe that bolted some time ago, but Calypso is still going strong. I got the seed from Johnny’s. I don’t know when it will bolt, but until then we’ll enjoy having fresh cilantro when we need it. Some is going on a turkey taco salad we’re having tonight for dinner.
Right next to the cilantro I planted some komatsuna. This is a variety called Carlton which is supposed to have good tolerance to both heat and cold. We’ll see how it likes the winter greenhouse conditions.
Next to the komatsuna I planted Winter Density and Red Sails lettuce. Both are dependable performers in the winter greenhouse. Much of what I recently planted in the greenhouse will probably not be harvested until late January or February. Things just don’t grow much this time of year, what with the short days of winter and cool soil temperatures. But like the mints, they will take off once the days start getting longer.
Next to the lettuce in that bed is a planting of True Siberian kale I made back in fall. It’s my first time trying to overwinter kale in the greenhouse, but it should do quite well there. I got the seeds for this strain from Adaptive Seeds, and they claim the plants are “big vigorous monsters.” We will see how they look come next spring. Hopefully it will give us some early kale to eat.
On the other side of the greenhouse, that bed is mostly planted in spinach. I started the seeds indoors, then set out the plants about three weeks later. This year I planted Viroflay, Amsterdam Prickly Seeded, Giant Winter and Giant Noble. I set out about 90 plants in all.
Spinach does great in the greenhouse, and should give us some early leaves long before the ones outside are producing. The greenhouse spinach will also bolt sooner than the outside plants, but that’s okay. We love spinach so much that I always grow as much as I can. I’ll plant some more in spring to extend the season further.
At the other end of the spinach bed are some parsley plants that have been growing there since spring. I don’t care much for dried parsley, so it’s another great herb to have fresh throughout the winter. It will do just fine in the greenhouse this winter, but it will start flowering come spring and then I will have to replant. I also tucked in a few extra lettuce plants between the spinach and the parsley, which look tiny next to the huge parsley plants.
That concludes the greenhouse tour. I hope you have enjoyed seeing what’s going on there in early December.