Enjoy Fresh Veggies in Winter with Greenhouse Vegetable Gardening

By Sarah Duke

Vegetables can be grown any time of year when you make use of greenhouse vegetable gardening techniques. Growing vegetables greenhouse style is virtually the same as producing them from a garden outside in the summer. You only have to supplement what nature provides that a greenhouse cannot.

To cultivate vegetables in a portable greenhouse you can use two methods. The first uses the sun's energy during the day to heat up the structure and is called the cold method. When the temperature decreases, a heating element will turn on to keep the temperature to a minimum of 45 degrees F. In this method plants do not grow; instead they're just maintained until they can be placed back outside in the summer.

Greenhouse vegetables will need to have warmth and the second technique, the warm greenhouse system, ought to be utilized in this case. This method will require more financial outlay because the temperature can't fall below 55 degrees F. A heating system has to be installed into your garden greenhouse. You can use a propane, electric or gas heater.

There's hardly a vegetable that can be grown in a garden that cannot be grown in a greenhouse. Look in seed catalogs to find seeds specifically developed for greenhouse use. If you can't find those get plants that maintain a compact size or that can be trimmed back to be smaller than the outdoor plants. There is little room in a greenhouse and you don't want it to be used up with merely a couple of kinds of vegetables.

Pollination is one of those things that you will have to do for your plants. Pollinating insects do not exist in greenhouse culture as a general rule so you have to do it for them. Pollinating a vegetable isn't hard. Tomatoes, for one, should be tied to bamboo stakes and the stakes can be jiggled in the morning and once in the evening in order to pollinate. You will need to watch the flowers carefully to find out when you have to do this. When the flower opens and the petals all bend backwards it is time. You'll only have three days to pollinate the tomatoes so take a look every day.

Because there is not a great deal of sunlight during the winter you will need to add sunlight by making use of grow lights. Most vegetables need a minimum of eight hours of light a day. Obviously, the plants will also need to be watered and fertilized on a regular basis.

Greenhouse vegetables during the wintertime can be challenging to work with, more so than in the summertime, but it can be very enjoyable. Tomatoes can be picked out of the greenhouse in the middle of winter. You'll be able to enjoy fresh veggies any time of year. - 29857

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