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Author Topic: Lettuce in the greenhouse in winter!  (Read 7641 times)

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stompy

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Lettuce in the greenhouse in winter!
« on: April 04, 2011, 11:11 »
Hi all,

Does/has anyone grown Lettuce in an unheated greenhouse this past winter to crop through the winter?
We as a family of four have spent a fortune on lettuce and mixed salad leaves through the winter and i was wondering if it can be grown sufficiently to harvest durin mid winter, between lets say November to March?

If so Which varieties did you grow and which did well?
I know im asking early due to the fact that the new summer season hasn't even started and im already thinking of next winter but i thought i would ask now whilst the varieties grown and success/failiure rates will still be firmly in your minds where as by November the information may be a litte clouded by time and alcohol  :lol:

Not sure this is in the right place due to there being a greenhouse section now.

sorry

Andy
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Kleftiwallah

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Re: Lettuce in the greenhouse in winter!
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2011, 11:49 »
There are soil warming cables available as there are special bulbs and strip light tubes that give off the 'right' frequency of light.  I'd say go for it and let us know the results.   Cheers,   Tony.
I may be growing OLD, but I refuse to grow UP !

compostqueen

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Re: Lettuce in the greenhouse in winter!
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2011, 11:56 »
Lots of leaves will happily overwinter, many are completely hard and can be grown outside, let alone in an unheated greenhouse. Meraviglia is growing in my open allotment and has had tonnes of snow on it and it still looks dead perky  :)

Misticanza mixture will grow happily in there all winter.  I have posted many times on here about it, so a quick search on here will reveal all  :)  I sow it in full sized seed trays and you can cut and come again.  Have trays of freshly sown trays waiting in the wings so you're never without leaves for your salad. This mixture has 20 odd varieties I think (see Seeds of Italy website)

I have a tray ready now and it looks a picture.  I'll go and get a pic if you like. Likewise the oriental leaf mixtures are dead hardy and oh so tasty.  At least growing them indoors keeps them clean so you can just eat them without washing em.  The oriental mix is good in your sarni or stir fried :)

stompy

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Re: Lettuce in the greenhouse in winter!
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2011, 12:03 »
My greenhouse is on the allotment so no electricity.

Thanks compostqueen, i would be growing it in the greenhouse borders plenty of room as i now have a 8'x12' greenhouse now with huge borders and there will be nothing else growing in there in winter.

Well i wasn't sure if anything would grow between these months but thats good to know, i will be writing this information down and be putting it into practice in October November time.

What other things can you grow to harvest in an unheated greenhouse in mid winter?

P.S. im not after overwintering plants for the next year, im actually after cropping them through the winter!



« Last Edit: April 04, 2011, 12:04 by stompy »

mumofstig

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Re: Lettuce in the greenhouse in winter!
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2011, 12:04 »
If you order a brochure from seeds of Italy the varieties that are suitable for winter growing are clearly indicated, and as compostqueen says, there are a good few of them :)

(you can order on-line but the winter varieties are not so easy to spot on their site IMO)

don't forget to grow rocket and corn salad as well :)
Lesley  
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compostqueen

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Re: Lettuce in the greenhouse in winter!
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2011, 12:08 »
I grow cabbages over winter as well, usually Hispi and Advantage. The Misticanza mix and an oriental leaf mix as this is what I eat most of. Spinach will grow out on the plot so would be fine in an unheated greenhouse like ours.  I grow spinach Bordeaux as it's hardy. It is a very strong grower and will get tall if you let it.  We eat loads of spinach and cabbage as I feed it to my hens. They like the oriental mix too but I like to keep that for us as we love it  :)

I read a recent article in Kitchen Garden mag and one of the authors in there had written about how he grows veg in buckets etc in the cold greenhouse overwinter. I'll see if I can find it

Some folks say it can't be done but it can!  Sometimes when it gets extremely cold the cabbages might get frosted but they soon bounce back. There are loads of varieties of winter hardy lettuces with names like Arctic King etc which indicates how tough they are.

compostqueen

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Re: Lettuce in the greenhouse in winter!
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2011, 12:12 »
Oh yes, forgot the corn salad!  That's really hard and very green and delish.  Again, I grow this for the chooks.  I think mine was Trophy. Rocket seed can be added to the leaf mixture and you sow the lot together  :)  The SOI Misticanza comes in a huge packet and you only sow a fine scattering over the tray  so it will last absolutely ages if you keep it properly resealed, cool and dry

stompy

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Re: Lettuce in the greenhouse in winter!
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2011, 12:21 »
Thanks guys,

I've just ordered my seeds of Italy catalouge and it' being posted off to me today.

We love salad but at 1 a bag (and the leaves are of a dubious quality) and we need 2 bags per meal minimum for the 4 of us, it ends up costing a fortune over the winter months.
It worked out at around 120 for the leaves alone this winter before the beets, toms (bullets), meat, cheese and boiled eggs (etc) were added as we have salad 3 to 4 times a week throughout the entire year interspersed with full roast dinners and soups and stews.
So i will be looking forward to the catalouge comming within the next few days.
I might see if there are any beetroot that can be grown then too.



Lardman

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Re: Lettuce in the greenhouse in winter!
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2011, 12:23 »
The SOI Misticanza comes in a huge packet and you only sow a fine scattering over the tray  so it will last absolutely ages if you keep it properly resealed, cool and dry

Did you buy online or locally? I've bought Moles / T&M / Wilkos mixed leaf to use as C&CA but im not impressed with them at all, by far the best was the BBC dig in last year  :ohmy:

Im almost tempted to order some.
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mumofstig

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Re: Lettuce in the greenhouse in winter!
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2011, 12:26 »
The first year here I was growing in tubs, and I had autumn calabrese that hadn't headed before the first frosts were due, so I moved the pots into the g/house and they headed during the winter, so there are lots of things to try if you have space :)

 get Joy Larkcoms book Grow Your Own Vegetables form the libraryand IMO it's brilliant with explanations for what to grow over winter and the so called hungry gap before the spring veg starts :)

Lardman order mine on line ;)
« Last Edit: April 04, 2011, 12:28 by mumofstig »

stompy

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Re: Lettuce in the greenhouse in winter!
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2011, 12:37 »
Do you know, i feel really inspired to try and grow alot of things this comming winter in the greenhouse now instead of downing tools.
I only had an 6x8 greenhouse before but now i've got all this extra room im going to try allsorts including callabrese in pots (etc)

Just have to get through the summer mayhem now  :lol:

Many thanks guys.

compostqueen

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Re: Lettuce in the greenhouse in winter!
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2011, 14:27 »
Joy Larckom article on the Hungry Gap won her an award I believe.  Her book is brilliant. Only a little unassuming little book but it's pure gold. I got mine from the library but bought a copy.  With her suggestions I really got into growing for the lean months with hardy lettuces, endives, chicories etc. She's into the orientals in a big way too. Don't be afraid to try new stuff from seed.  I sowed mispoona in between the psb plants and the stuff grew like lightening, even though quite shaded. It made really good stir fry material - when you need to grow a lot as it cooks down. 

You don't need seed trays to sow your seeds into. Boxes that can have holes drilled in will be fine.  I use a deeper metal box that a food hamper from M & S came in  :)  Wooden wine presentation box has got my basils in at the mo  :)

mumofstig

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Re: Lettuce in the greenhouse in winter!
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2011, 14:40 »
On the way back for my local paper shop I pass by a chinese and they throw out lovely pierced plastic boxes about 18in x 12in and about 4 inches deep......the kind that will stack if you want. Lined with a bit of plastic, from empty compost bags, they are perfect for salads etc  :)

Needless to say, I now have quite a stack of them  :lol:

compostqueen

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Re: Lettuce in the greenhouse in winter!
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2011, 14:45 »
A woman after my own heart.  When I go shopping I always look at the packaging to see if it will make a seed tray. Those Bisto Yorkie pud containers are just like a mini propagators  :)

these are ready for eating now. A tray each of oriental leaf mix and Misticanza leaf mix

ORIENTMIX.jpg
misticmix.jpg
« Last Edit: April 04, 2011, 15:51 by compostqueen »

peskypixie

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Re: Lettuce in the greenhouse in winter!
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2011, 18:35 »
I bubble wrapped the inside of my green house and grew mizuna, spinach, leaf beet, coriander, parsley and red mustard leaves over this last winter. The herbs stayed in leaf the whole time but I lost the spinach in early Feb. It was fed up of struggling on I think. These were all grown in the ground and not in pots as this makes a difference I reckon. Despite being in Cornwall the thermometer read -13 one night. Definitely worth growing as many salads as you can over winter just make sure they are established before the first frosts/snow. I can't bear the winter (for obvious reasons) but find popping up the greenhouse for greens very therapeutic during those dark and dismal days. Best of luck!



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