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Old 07-05-12, 10:34 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by strider3700 View Post
getting greens to survive the winter isn't overly difficult. Getting them to grow through the winter can be hard. They need to warm up during the day to grow. A greenhouse can help with this.

For kicks last winter I planted lettuce, carrots and beats in a front garden where I knew they would be sheltered from the worst of the weather and should survive. The did survive but didn't grow a bit from mid october until late march. I think with a small poly tunnel they'd have kept growing at least another month probably right through.
Besides low temps, the other main factor causing limited plant growth in the winter is the short day length. This is why a lot of overwintered veggies that just sit there through Dec and Jan, then start growing from Feb on, despite Feb temps that are just as low as Jan temps. The higher your latitude, the more this is a factor in your plant's growth. At my latitude (34 N), most veggies remain in the doldrums from late Nov through most of Jan, even under cover. The main exceptions to this being lettuce cultivars developed in Europe for winter cropping and many overwintered Chinese crops. Compared with European spinach cultivars, Chinese spinach cultivars are less cold hardy but will keep growing and producing through the shortest winter days where European spinach just sits there. But as the days start to lengthen in Jan-Feb, the Chinese spinach will bolt while the Europeans will start growing nicely before bolting in Apr.

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