You can grow salad greens in fall and winter, its not rocket science, even I can do it. Watch the video and read on below:
Couple of key things to grow salad greens in fall and winter
- Plant cold hardy lettuces, mustards, kale.
- Use a mini greenhouse
- Start seeds earlier than you think
- Plant in your sunniest raised bed
Luckily, most salad greens don't do well in hot weather, they actually like cold weather. You have that going for you when you want to grow greens in winter or fall. I usually have too many packs of mescluns, greens, etc, so I drop them into a shallow row right next to my soaker hoses [video here]. Fedco sells fall and winter salad seed mixes, which make this even easier.
Be sure the seed rows are on the sun side of the soaker hoses. The way my raised beds are oriented, one side of the hose gets more sun than the other, so I drop seed on that sunnier side.
The other key ingredient here is a mini greenhouse, aka hoop house, to extend the growing season [how to videos here]. The mini greenhouse will keep the plants warmer in the fall and early winter months, and can extend the season greatly.
If you don't have a mini greenhouse, you can surround the salad greens with hay bales. Lay an old storm window over the bales. The bales will hold in the heat nicely.
In the northeast U.S., where we are, the salad greens will eventually freeze, and stop growing. But if you can manage not to let the frost melt and drown the plants in late winter, you can get the salad greens to start growing again. They may bolt, so plant new seed as well.
How do you extend your growing season? Let us know below.