Here in early December the weather outside is seasonably cold, with lows dipping down below freezing most nights and down to a frosty 20°F this morning. But inside the protected environment of the greenhouse lots of things are still growing. I use my homemade salad boxes to grow greens in there most of the time, and I’ve got four of them in use right now. That’s a good use for the tables this time of year when not much is happening with seed starting or transplanting activities.
I just recently planted the biggest box with lettuce seedlings. It’s a mix of varieties, leftovers from planting in the cold frame and greenhouse beds. In no particular order there’s Baby Oakleaf, Outstanding, Jester, Simpson Elite, Tango, Winter Density and Radichetta. It should make for a nice mix of colors and textures in the salad bowl.
Moving down the table, a smaller box has a planting of Speedy and Apollo arugula. They are big enough to start cutting on now, though I still have a few plants in one of the cold frame beds I have been harvesting from for some time now.
Next to that I have a small box that was planted with lettuce several weeks ago. It’s a mixture of the same varieties I planted in the big box. Those plants are almost ready to begin cutting. We’ve been without homegrown lettuce for a few months now and I am looking forward to a nice salad sometime in the near future.
Over on the potting bench I have one more small salad box that I planted with Mizspoona Salad Select. Despite the name this mizuna/tatsoi cross is good cooked as well as in salads. I also have some of this fast-growing green growing in one of the beds.
I have two beds in the greenhouse, one about 3×4 feet and the other 3×5 feet in size. Next to the parsley in the bigger bed I have a test planting of Brassica carinata. I have two varieties I am growing to see how they do in the winter greenhouse. One from Artisan Seeds is called Highland Kale, and the other from Johnny’s is called Amara Mustard. B. carinata is really closer botanically to a mustard, but the taste is reminiscent of Tuscan kale. Fred Hempel from Artisan Seeds wrote a piece for Mother Earth News called Highland Kale Is a Versatile Mustard Green from Ethiopia that describes this green and how it can be used. You can see some of the young plants in the below photo.
The rest of that bed is planted out in lettuce, mizspoona and spinach. The bed on the other side has cilantro at one end and kale on the other, with Simpson Elite and Red Sails lettuce planted in the middle.
Simpson Elite lettuce is one of my favorites for making a wilted lettuce salad. The greenhouse plants are growing nicely, but everything grows more slowly in the short, cold days of winter.
The kale is a mix of two cultivars from Adaptive Seeds, one called True Siberian and a Red Russian type named Western Front that is supposed to keep growing through the winter months. I haven’t cut any of these plants since I have so much planted out in the main garden. When that kale freezes out I will hopefully have this in the greenhouse to eat.
I hope you have enjoyed this tour of the greenhouse, and thanks for stopping by. I’ll be back soon with more happenings from Happy Acres!