We have a 'sun room' that I'm thinking might have enough light not to need grow lights.
Aren't you in Persephone Days now when there won't be enough hours of sunlight for plants to grow? Lettuce is bad about counting the days and aging even if it doesn't grow. It would be an interesting experiment, though.
Sunlight here is less than 10 hours already, and yet my lettuce keeps growing. Slowly, but that's better than bolting. And when spring comes, they really take off to varying degrees depending on the type, and I have to give some away.
Seeds are cheap, maybe even free. Can't hurt to try. Even if you fail, you can learn and do better next year.
Arugula is hardiest for me, leaf lettuce second. Surprisingly, spinach hasn't worked well for me. Maybe this winter will be different.
That is what I am trying to do now. I have out over 50 lettuce plants and plan to plant a few more today. They are the offspring of a lettuce plant that overwintered with no protection. I didn't know that that was possible.
Post by pepperhead212 on Nov 26, 2018 17:54:10 GMT -5
I have used a hoop house to grow many greens in the winter - lettuce, chard, bok choy, tatsoi, komatsuna, senposai, misome, and mizuna. The lettuce died first, followed soon by the chard. Bok choy died back before the komatsuna (the generic komatsuna, from Pinetree lasted the longest, but bolted early, when grown in the spring) and mizuna died off next, with the senposai and misome lasting longer. The tatsoi lasted the longest, probably because it grows almost flat on the ground.
The first year I also tried kohlrabi, which only grew to 1 1/2". However, they never died! They turned a deep purple all over, and in March, they started growing again, and I harvested them! The rest of the brassicas would start growing again when the temp would rise to maybe the 30s (it took highs in the mid to low teens to kill them off), and with the sun on the hoop house, they'd grow back quickly. When a killing temp was iminent, I'd just cut almost all of the greens, leaving the core, or cut the muzuna to about 1/2", and they'd be coming back in a few weeks.
In March, when I'd take the cover off, the surviving plants would bolt quickly, sending up tall shoots - a couple as tall as I am! Unlike lettuce, brassicas are still edible when they bolt, though after a while the shoots get very tough. They are very good, if you harvest early.
The first year I did this, I didn't put a heater in the hoop house, just to see how cold each would be able to survive to. In later years, I'd put a portable heater (500w) under the cover when the temp was getting under 20°.
About ten years ago it occurred to me that by planting low to the ground, using multiple layers of plastic, and jugs of water to stabilize temperature, I would be able to keep plants from freezing and garden all winter long. I had the first part right. I was able to keep plants from freezing. The gardening part was wrong. I did not then know about Persephone Days. Nothing grew, and as soon as warm weather arrived, the little plants ran to flower although only a few inches tall.
Post by desertwoman on Nov 27, 2018 18:19:53 GMT -5
Yes! I just read an update earlier today that said they've narrowd it to romaine grown in central and northern California. So if you/your grocery store can identify where the romaine you want to buy was grown then you can avoid central/northern California romaine. All other growing locations have been deemed safe
Northern New Mexico Zone 6b (formerly Zone 5) Posting since 2005