What’s Happening Under Those Greenhouses?

This is a Winter harvest post, or also known as… whats happening under those greenhouses?

This Winter we had 2 greenhouses up and running which are currently being used for the Spring seedlings (more on that soon!).    Matthew is going to chime in next week with a post on how to build a greenhouse so if you’re looking how to grow during the cold months, or even how to get your seedlings ready for spring, this is a post you’ll want to check out!

This Winter was brutally cold, one of the coldest I can recall.  If you watched the news at all then you probably some brutal temperatures and storms hit the North East so even with greenhouses, gardening was rough this Winter.    Since we grow on a roof, we use greenhouses that are built with heavy duty plastic to help withstand both wind and coldness.    Unless you have a green house structure that restricts all elements from getting to your plants,  growing in the extreme cold even under  a greenhouse can be hard.    When the temperatures are in single digits for days straight, your plants are going to feel it.  When it continues to snow this will add up on top of your greenhouse, possibly causing damage to both greenhouse and your poor plants under them.

We ventured up to the roof multiple times this Winter to shovel snow and try o catch a glimpse inside the greenhouses.  Is there anything alive?  Is that green we see?   What’s going on with the kale?  Is there any hope? Is it too cold?

So this past weekend we took the greenhouses off and took a look.   We knew some of the Fall plants wouldn’t really stand a chance as their time was up and they weren’t Winter hardy but we got quite a surprise with lots of the other veggies!

First up the kale….
We’ve had pretty good luck with kale through the years lasting quite a long time. Often our kale lasts multiple seasons.  This kale was planted in July and look at how well it survived under the greenhouse this Winter! Now 8-9 months later, it’s still growing strong! Now we have no choice but to keep this kale growing! We’ve decided to  turn this entire container into kale central so there’s some more plants coming in soon!
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Winter Harvest

Brussels Sprouts love the cold so I was hoping for some magic under the greenhouse.  Last year we tried growing Brussels Sprouts but the heat happened early and we didn’t end up with anything to harvest. As you can see here there are some Sprouts already growing so I’m hoping they hurry up before the hotter temperatures arrive. 
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One big surprise was the broccoli.  We didn’t have any hope for the broccoli as it is pretty sensitive to extreme temperatures but we were able to still get a full meal of little florets that sprung up.
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The bok choy grew beautifully this Winter.  I would definitely recommend this as a happy vegetable that can withstand some cold.   We ended up harvesting the entire plants instead of individual leaves.  That made containers then available to use for other vegetables that would be moving in for Spring. 
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And now the hands down biggest surprise.. carrots!  You see, we didn’t even think there were carrots growing, we thought they were long gone, we thought there was no chance.    The tops of all the carrots fell off months ago so with that totally lost hope.   So without even thinking there could be anything under the soil I started to clean up the container to turn the soil and get ready for the next seeds.  Then I dipped my hands in the soil and got quite a surprise.. what was this.. was this a carrot?
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Not only one carrot, but lots of carrots!
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If I could possibly send along the smell of these Earthy carrots I definitely would!  
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These carrots are going to be used for some yummy dinners.  Not to mention a delicious carrot cake that is in the making!Winter Harvest_10

We were both pretty amazed and just kept muttering “wow” and “omg, carrots”.  Many smiles were had because of these surprise carrots!
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Do you grow anything in the Winter?  
Have you ever had a garden surprise lurking under the soil that made your day?

 

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