Today I want to give a quick tour of the greenhouse to show what’s growing in there this time of year. All the summer plants have been cleared out now, and I have started planting crops for fall and winter growing. I’ve also begun the process of bringing in potted herbs to overwinter in there, which will provide us with fresh herbs for much of the winter. Any bit of green is welcome in winter, and our greenhouse is big enough to give us a good variety of greens and herbs in the cooler months.
It has been cool enough in the greenhouse lately to plant lettuce. It’s way too hot in there in summer, so I don’t even try and grow it then. I started the seeds indoors under lights about a month ago. I have several old favorites planted plus a few new ones like the Navara red oakleaf. I’m growing it in one of my homemade salad boxes, and I had room for one extra plant which is a green leafy type.
The Salanova line of lettuces do well for me in the greenhouse. I have the Red and Green Oakleaf varieties planted in one small salad box, and Red and Green Butter planted in a larger box. These lettuces should be ready to start cutting sometime in early November.
I plant more lettuce and other greens in small planter boxes. They are easier to move about than the salad boxes, and give me additional growing capacity.
I also worked up the beds I have running down both side of the greenhouse, adding organic fertilizer and a bit of compost. I use shredded newspaper and cardboard for mulch in these beds, which breaks down over time and adds organic material. Slugs and sowbugs are often a problem in the beds, and I use Sluggo Plus pellets as an organic control for them.
On one side, I planted ten purple sprouting broccoli plants. This year I am growing Burgundy, Santee and Rudolph. These should begin yielding sometime in January, and keep going until mid-March. I started these plants back in late July, and they were getting tall and needed to be planted.
On the other side I planted eight kale plants. I’m growing Western Front, True Siberian, and Groninger Blue there. These plants were a bit smaller than the broccoli, but still good sized. They will supply us with leaves and kale rapini when they start blooming early next spring.
I’ve brought in a few container parsley plants I had growing in Smart Pots. These have kept us supplied all summer, and should keep going until spring when I have new plants to set out. We do use a lot of parsley, and I like to keep a good amount of it growing.
I still have more lettuce seedlings to plant in the greenhouse beds, plus some more in containers. And I have a few more herbs to bring inside, including oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme and lemongrass. There’s no frost in our weather forecasts yet, so I will likely leave them outside for a bit longer. I hope you have enjoyed this look at our greenhouse in October, and I’ll be back soon with another update!
It’s shocking for me to see that even fairly small PSB can be planted now and harvested in winter and spring. With our light levels, we’d be lucky to get a few leaves. My PSB plants are about 4ft tall right now and even then, they won’t really start to give a good harvest until April : All the best – Steve
This is my third year growing the PSB in the greenhouse, and it has always done well for me. I had tried unsuccessfully to grow it outside, but our winters are too cold for it – at least all the varieties I tried.
Just shows the difference light makes vs cold
I had never heard of purple sprouting broccoli. I learn so much from reading your blog, so thank you! I’m in zone 5b, but I may try to experiment with it next fall under hoops. I notice that days to maturity vary a lot – one at Territorial Seeds is 220 days! The Johnny’s fact sheet mentions a lower vernalization requirement for Santee so I guess the hybrids have been bred to speed up harvesting times compared to the heirloom English varieties.
I think you are right about the PSB and the hybridization. A local market grower told me they grow Santee under low tunnels here, so it might do well for you under hoops. Burgundy makes sprouts in spring as well as fall and winter. Of the ones I grow, Rudolph is the latest, and it’s listed at 150 days to maturity.
Our PSB overwinters outdoors but as Steve commented, it will be well into next year before we gar any sort of crop.