Many times in the early fall, and even in to the fall months, I debate on whether it is really time to turn the heat on in my greenhouse. I usually think about it frosting outside, and then the frost gets heavier and heavier and I watch my thermometer in the greenhouse to know when I need to start using my heat. I live out in the ‘boonies’ as some would say and when the cold weather finally decides to come it is here to stay. So, between the times when I am finishing out my outdoor gardens and I am starting more and more plants in the greenhouse for the winter months I have found that there are quite a few plants and vegetables that do well in the greenhouse during this cooler time.
Even when the temperatures are getting a little bit cooler, the sun is still shining in and around my greenhouse. As the sun continues to shine, my daylight temperatures are quite appealing to growing plants even if it is only forty or fifty degrees in the greenhouse. Some great vegetables that do well in the cooler temperatures are radishes, onions, certain types of cabbages, carrots, lettuce, spinach, and even beets will grow well in the cooler weather. When the weather is a little cooler I also am getting ready to turn the heat on in my greenhouse, so I start gathering up my seeds for the winter that I want to grow. I also start finding out how many pots I have and stuff so that when I turn my heat on I can start getting my winter garden underway! As the summer is turning cooler I also start bringing in most of my container garden flowers. I can extend their life well into November and December when I cut them back and then water them so they will bloom one last time for me.
Even when my greenhouse dips a little down under the forty degree mark, I know they are not freezing yet, and I let the heat do off for just one more day. Growing and raising plants in a cooler atmosphere does make them a little hardier. When you are thinking about turning the heat off in the spring months you should remember not to ‘baby’ your plants to much or you will shock them when you take them out of the conditioned environment of the greenhouse.