This time last year, I blogged 5 things I’d be doing differently in 2015.
My new season resolution was to include not growing tomatoes so close together, not grow so many tomatoes or courgettes, and netting brassicas as soon as the seedlings went into the ground. Happily, I achieved all of these – 4 out of 5 isn’t bad – but I definitely failed with my vow to make more efficient use of the greenhouse.
My greenhouse is currently barren, and after a twitter convo with Jenny about her brilliantly veg packed October greenhouse (pictured below), I’m determined to do much better.
I’ve talked before about how much I love being able to sow earlier in a greenhouse, but I seem to annually miss the opportunity to extend the growing season into the colder months. Once my seedlings go out onto the plot, the greenhouse becomes forgotten, give or take the odd homeless tomato plant.
My Greenhouse Could Be So Much More!
My greenhouse is once again empty and sad, but seeing Jenny’s photo has made me realise that the space could be so much more this time of year. The protection offered could extend harvests for all sorts of veg such as lettuce, salad, beets, herbs, carrots, peas, and beans. In the past, I’ve even harvested tomatoes until the first day of December from a stray plant that spent a summer under glass so I know the power of the greenhouse. I just need to get my finger out and harness it.
I’m not sure why I’ve never made a concerted effort with the greenhouse post-summer before, as it is such a great addition to the garden and as Jenny demonstrates, not just a tool for germinating seeds earlier than you would do outside.
Some Quickfire 2015 Experiments – Lettuce, Salad, Leeks, and Broadies
So whilst I wait for next year, I’m going to do some practising and experiment with a few veg to see what happens now. I’ve germinated half a dozen Little Gem lettuce (main pic) which I’ve planted out in the greenhouse, to see if they’ll grow into harvestable crops over the next few weeks.
As well as the Little Gem, I’ve scattered sowing of salad Mizuna, a hardy oriental green that is beautifully peppery in taste. I’ve grown this outdoors in the past, and the seed packet says that Mizuna can be sown indoors in October so it’ll be interesting if I can get a crop this late in the year.
And finally, I’ve also dibbed in some leftover leek seedlings. I’m not expecting the leeks to grow much until Spring next year, but once February arrives they might get a boost and I’ll have leeks to bolster my hungry gap dearth. They definitely won’t be whoppers, but I’m told by a reliable source that baby leeks are all the rage at the moment!
I’m also planning to use the space to overwinter a few broad beans. Another great thing about the greenhouse is that it is an environment that can be controlled (to an extent), so crawlies and beasties are kept out and crops safe from pests. I do like some broad beans in the spring, and having them in the greenhouse will hopefully protect the plants from greenfly, and also provide space so that I can use my plot for other veg.
I’ll post again during winter about how my little experiments are going.