April Greenhouse Tour

I promised a greenhouse tour, and it’s a good time for one because there’s lots going on out there this time of year. Currently it’s full of cool season greens and trays of seedlings. It’s also giving us some of our first harvests of the year.

looking in the door of the greenhouse

looking in the door of the greenhouse

On the benches, I’ve got salad boxes planted with arugula and lettuce. It’s Apollo and Adagio in the mini salad box below, and I have Speedy growing in a window box planter.

mini salad box with arugula

mini salad box with arugula

Two more mini salad boxes are planted with lettuce. I’m testing a few new varieties this spring, including Spritzer and Cavendish plus Salanova Green and Red Butter lettuces. The salad boxes are really a great way to grow greens, and you can read about how I made both sizes of them on my Gardening Tutorials page.

mini salad box with lettuce

mini salad box with lettuce

The big salad box is planted with more lettuce, including Tango, Pele and Salanova Green Sweet Crisp. The Salanova varieties were bred for baby salad mixes, and seem to do very well in the greenhouse. They don’t form large heads, just lots of smallish leaves of about the same size. I haven’t tried growing them outdoors yet, and I doubt I will since I really got them to try out in the greenhouse.

salad box with lettuce

salad box with lettuce

In the greenhouse beds I have a lot of overwintered kale growing. It’s all pretty much ready for cutting, and I have been doing just that on an as-needed basis. I planted about a dozen plants last fall, including White Russian, True Siberian and Western Front. Some have started to for flower buds, and we will eat those along with the leaves until I pull the plants. I plan on growing cucumbers there this summer, which I will likely plant around the first of May.

overwintered kale

overwintered kale

Also in the beds I have a spot with pak choi and parsley planted. There’s Bopac, Mei Qing, Red Pac and Asian Delight pak choi, plus Vivid Choi and Dragon Tongue mustard. I’ll harvest the greens before it’s time to set out the cucumbers, while the parsley will stay there throughout the year.

greens in bed

greens in bed

On the shelves I have flats of seedlings waiting to be planted. I started some extra early tomatoes back in mid February and they are getting quite big. There’s also a few plants of Patio Baby eggplant which I will grow in containers.

early tomatoes

early tomatoes

I also potted up the brassicas into individual 3.5″ pots. With planting delayed due to the wet and cold weather, I didn’t want them to get root bound in their plug flats and this way they will continue to grow while they are in the protected environment of the greenhouse. I hope to get started planting some of them next week. It’s mostly cabbage plants in the below photo. I also potted up broccoli, kohlrabi and kale.

cabbage plants

cabbage plants

I’ve also got quite a few greens planted in window box planters. It’s Koji hybrid tatsoi in the below photo, and I’ve already got several cuttings of leaves from it so far. Growing in the window box planters gives me room to grow more things in the greenhouse, and I can move them around as needs be. I often bring them outside during the day, and put them back in the greenhouse before nightfall to protect them from the hungry critters that are always roaming around here at night.

Koji tatsoi

Koji tatsoi

I hope you have enjoyed this greenhouse tour! It’s a real happening place in April for sure. I’ll be back soon with more happenings from Happy Acres.

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7 Responses to April Greenhouse Tour

  1. Sue Garrett says:

    Funnily enough I was thinking of doing a greenhouse tour. Your greenhouse is bursting at the seems and many things are further along than in our greenhouse. We haven’t sown much yet.

  2. Michelle says:

    I have never heard of Bopac and couldn’t find anything about it, so what is it? Your lettuces must absolutely love the greenhouse, they are so perfect. Everything looks really happy. Thanks for the tour, it’s always interesting.

    • Dave says:

      Oops, make that “Bopak”. It’s a white stem pak choi like Joi Choi and a 2015 AAS Winner. I will likely harvest all these chois at the baby stage once I need the room for the cukes.

      I think it is easier to grow lettuce in the greenhouse, but also harder to get red ones to color up. I tend to concentrate on harvesting heads while they are smaller. And without wind or weather, the leaves are always tender.

      • Michelle says:

        Thanks! I’ll have to check it out. I just set out transplants of Shanghai pac choi and Purple pac choi. More often than not I overlook getting choi started for spring but I remembered this year.

  3. Kathy says:

    Thank you for that Dave, it was very interesting. I am finding it easier to get good quality lettuces inside, and have just started a sowing of rocket (arugula) and large leaf basil too. After seeing your window boxes I might give them a go as I can maybe make better use of space like that.

    What size is your greenhouse please?

    I might do a “tour” next week: it is always good to look back year on year and see how things vary

    • Dave says:

      Our greenhouse is 8×12 feet. The salad boxes really are quite handy. They do need daily watering once the plants start sizing up, but I’m out there watering every day anyway this time of year. I look forward to seeing your tour!

      • Kathy says:

        Thanks Dave… ours is 8×10 but I am not sure I make the best use of space available. The salad boxes do look an excellent way of getting (mainly) undamaged leaves. Watering is daily anyway in the Summer tbh, but as the greenhouse is in the garden it is not a problem.

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