winter gardening greenhouse
Posted in: Homesteaders, Organic Gardening

The Best Tips for Winter Greenhouse Gardening

Don’t miss out on another great garden season: WINTER! These fun tips will get you started growing food with winter greenhouse gardening.
winter vegetables

What are some winter greenhouse gardening ideas? If you want to grow cold, hardy winter vegetables, extend your gardening into the next season with a greenhouse! Winter gardening can be rewarding and fun, whether a novice or a seasoned pro. These great ideas and recommendations for winter greenhouse gardening will help you get started.

This post contains tips for winter greenhouse gardening.

winter gardening
The Best Tips for Winter Greenhouse Gardening

The winter months can be a challenging time for gardeners. The short days, cold temperatures, and lack of daylight are obstacles you’ll face when trying to grow healthy plants indoors and outdoors. But don’t worry, you can still garden in winter! There are plenty of ways to keep your garden green even in the harshest weather conditions. 

Perks of a Winter Greenhouse Garden

What about gardening in the snow?

Winter garden crops take up very little space, need less tending, and are generally more tolerant of the cold than most summer vegetable varieties.

One popular winter crop is kale. Though it requires daily watering and regular fertilizing, kale will continue growing under these conditions even during the harshest part of winter without slowing down much or succumbing to pests, as many other cold-sensitive plants might.

For other plants, having a greenhouse can extend your growing season, reduce pest pressure, and maximize your harvests with winter vegetable gardening.

Your greenhouse can be turned into an indoor winter garden perfect for plant care that usually demands more attention and work when grown outdoors.


winter vegetables

Winter Gardening Using Greenhouses

If you have the space, building and maintaining a greenhouse is another way of creating safe havens for plants that would otherwise wither away under cold winter conditions.

Crops and even trees can be grown inside, giving you hearty fruits and vegetables throughout the winter.

Types of Winter Greenhouses for the Garden

There are many ways to shelter plants from the harsh winds and cold temperatures of winter. Let’s look at a few different kinds of greenhouses to consider.

Permanent Greenhouses

The most popular types of winter greenhouses are hoop houses and unheated greenhouses. Still, if you are looking for something a little more traditional, there are many heated greenhouse options.

If you are handy, building a greenhouse is a great way to save money. You can source reclaimed materials like we did in our DIY Greenhouse, or choose a kit like the ones below.

best greenhouse kit

Temporary Structures

There are so many options to consider for winter greenhouse gardening.

Whether you choose row covers, plastic jugs, DIY greenhouse construction methods, or permanent greenhouses, the possibilities become endless! Click the images for more information on our favorite temporary greenhouses.

pop up greenhouse

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this one!

Best Greenhouse

How to boost the heat in an unheated winter greenhouse?

There are a few ways you can get your unheated winter greenhouse warm enough for growing, and some things you need to consider when deciding how much heat you want.


1. Invest in an electric heater

2. Cover the windows with sheets or plastic during the day

3. Insulate the floor using materials like newspapers, hay bales, and old clothes

5. Consider placing grow lights near the ceiling for supplemental heat

Inside the Greenhouse

I swear by these items for smooth gardening inside our greenhouse!

winter gardening
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winter gardening
  • For Proper Ventilation
best greenhouse ventilation
  • For Heating and Temperature Control

Save your time, I have found the best heaters on Amazon! These are three options that I recommend. Depending on your space and price range, you can’t beat these heaters.

  • For Light
best greenhouse grow lights
  • For Light
best eco friendly seed starting

I love these seed starting trays so much! I have used these for as long as I have been gardening. Saves money because you will never need to buy kits and other seed products again.

They are made of thick, rigid silicone. These seed trays are made to last.

I purchased my trays last year from Bootstrap Farmer. I chose pink and green to brighten up the greenhouse. They are durable plastic, not flexible. They are designed to outperform other seed trays. Let’s keep from buying so much disposable plastic and invest in made-to-last supplies!

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seed starting trays

What grows in an unheated greenhouse in winter?

Most unheated greenhouses stay around 40 degrees Fahrenheit at their warmest, which is far too cold for many crops.

Winter gardening ideas best suit hardy vegetables that can withstand more excellent weather.

Some winter garden crops include peas, spinach, kale, Brussels sprouts, and leeks. If you’re growing food in winter and living in a climate where it is cold all year round- apples and citrus trees are good choices as well.

Besides the usual cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower there are a few exceptionally well yielding crops that shouldn’t be overlooked for winter greenhouse gardens!

Microgreens

If you’ve always wanted to garden but live in an area with cold winters, raising microgreens is an easy way to get started.

One of the ways you can get creative is by growing microgreens and sprouts in the greenhouse during the winter months. That way, you can have the freshest green nutrition all year round!

Salad Mix and Leafy Greens

Lettuces are perfect for greenhouse gardening in winter.


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Lettuces of all sorts do well in an unheated greenhouse. They love cooler temperatures but cannot tolerate frost. Grow multiple varieties of lettuce in an opened bag of dirt for a ‘cut and come again’ salad all season.

If you have the space, plant lettuce seeds every 2-3 weeks to keep the salad bowl full through early summer.

Unlike salad greens, some greens tolerate frost, and their flavors improve in colder temperatures. Mustard greens are one of those plants.

Consider planting mustard, turnip greens, and kale outside the greenhouse this winter. For harsher climates, they do well under row covers, too.

grow lettuce in winter

Carrots

While creating your winter greenhouse garden plan, don’t forget the classic carrot.

Carrots are inexpensive to buy at the grocery store or farmers’ market, but they’ll taste better and be much more nutritious if you plant them at home.

Remember that carrots need space- about one foot for each root crop plant.

So if you have room for eight rows of carrots, make it 10 feet by 10 feet square just so there’s plenty of room for them.

Asian Greens

Beets are one of the best winter garden crops for greenhouses because they grow well in wet and dry conditions.

One winter garden idea is to combine beets with other Asian greens, such as bok choy, napa cabbage, and pak choi.

From bok choy stems, make homemade dumplings or chop them up for stir fry. Napa cabbage is incredibly delicate, so it should be used fresh and raw.

winter gardening

Celery

I have always struggled with celery in my southern (zone 8A) garden. This year, I am going to give it a go inside the greenhouse!

The best part is celery doesn’t need much space to grow and can be harvested as soon as four weeks after planting.

Celery, also a biennial plant has high crop yields and takes up little space.

Plus, it’s one of the most popular vegetables out there, so you’ll have plenty of buyers if your garden thrives.

You can dehydrate it for seasoning to add to soups and dishes all year round, or make a mirepoix mixed with a little butter or olive oil and frozen in ice cube trays for handy saute starters.

Improve your gardening skills, learn new ones, and find the best gardening inspiration!

Discover amazing ideas you cannot live without! Whether you are an aspiring gardener, a beginner, or well-seasoned, you will find some awesome inspiration below.

winter gardening greenhouse
The Best Tips for Winter Greenhouse Gardening
Don’t miss out on another great garden season: WINTER! These fun tips will get you started growing food with winter greenhouse gardening.
winter gardening
The Big List of Heirloom Winter Vegetables
This comprehensive list of winter vegetables shows all the kinds of plants you can grow in colder weather.
how to save tomato seeds
The Easiest Way to Save Tomato Seeds
Everything you need to know to correctly save tomato seeds from your heirloom tomatoes for next year’s garden!

Winter Gardening Provides Food and Fun Without Pests and Weeds!

Winter vegetable gardening can be very rewarding!

The first step is deciding what you want to grow and choosing the varieties that will work best in your climate.

Remember that some plants will do better than others in cold weather, so start here and do some research before starting your greenhouse winter garden.

Once you’ve figured out which plants work best in your growing zone, prepare for another season of fresh produce!


SUSTAINABLE LIVING

Learn About Sustainability

Knowing your food and taking responsibility for how it is produced is the best way to make a positive ecological impact. Starting a small garden can do so much for your peace of mind as well as the planet!


You are reducing waste and resources while relying less on conventional agriculture and its use of pesticides and herbicides like glyphosate.


Most importantly, you will be eating the healthiest way possible!


Find out how to be more self-sufficient by gardening for sustainability.


This post was all about winter greenhouse gardening for year round produce!

Feeling inspired? Check out these posts, next!

gardening for sustainability
sustainable living health

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I swear by this list! (I even have a laminated one hanging in my greenhouse for reference!)

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