Winter Growing Part 2

Winter Growing Part 2

Someday soon I hope to have a large greenhouse but this year, if I want to grow year-round, I have to make do with what I have. While the mini-greenhouses are great for small crops like lettuce and kale, I’ll need something larger for big leaf crops like swiss chard and cabbage. Before buying anything for the garden, I always try to use what already I have. Why purchase something new when I already have an item just sitting in storage waiting for a job?

For this project, I laid my tomato cages on their side , and bent the end spikes to stick into the ground.


Once secured, I watered the area well (you could do this a after a good rain and not worry about watering). In order to create the greenhouse effect you will need some condensation, and since the ground is so dry from the drought I felt watering was necessary. Then I covered the whole area with a 4 mil plastic painter’s drop cloth. This one was 9’ x 12’, available at any hardware store. I secured the edges with found objects like bricks and rocks.

Once the sun comes up, even on a cold day, you get this beautiful, warm environment with plenty of moist air.

In this space I direct seeded leaf lettuce, head lettuce, and swiss chard. I have cabbage sprouts growing on my windowsill just waiting for it to get large enough to set out in my low-row. I’m hoping to have some good harvests this winter!

Tiffany Selvey is a Master Gardener who writes about her passion for growing, cooking, and living naturally at When she’s not elbow deep in soil, she enjoys raising a very active son, laughing with her husband, and wrangling their five pets. Follow Tiffany’s gardening adventures on facebook and on twitter.

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