There is not much written on the winter gardening for the southern gardener so I thought I would do a little research and provide a few ideas, thoughts and activities for the southern gardener so that you can expand on your gardens through out the years. I would consider the southern gardener a zone or zones for growing that generally will dip down to thirty degrees Fahrenheit but the normal is a little higher.
If you are careful, watching the weather and adding a little extra care for your plants in the greenhouse you can have a full garden variety year round! For your first winter write watch and write down the high and low temperatures in your greenhouse. As you detect a pattern during the months of December, January and February you will be able to use this information for the following winter months. When you find that your temperatures are hovering around thirty five degrees at night inside the greenhouse you will want to consider turning the heat on during the night just to keep your plants from freezing, if you have a timer and turn the heat off during the day this expense will stay pretty low. When the temperature in your greenhouse stays above thirty-five and forty degrees, you can plant a great variety of plants which includes some hardy vegetables, bulbs, and slow growing flowers. You can start trees, shrubs and bushes that you may want to use in you outdoor garden for the following spring as well.
I have five trees that I have been caring for in my greenhouse for two years now. While they were started from these tiny little ‘twigs’ they are starting to get a little larger now and I am still protecting them from the animals, mainly deer, and the weather so that I can plant them right outside of my greenhouse in about another year. I need a little windbreak on the northern side of my greenhouse and these trees will not grow over ten to twelve feet tall, which is why I chose them. Anything that you can grow outside can be grown in your greenhouse with a little extra controlling of the environment. When you are able to keep your greenhouse above forty degrees without the use of heat, you can plan on planting vegetables year round, making your own spring and summer seasons and harvesting when you like.
Summer greenhouses will have at least two harvest seasons per year, and sometimes even three depending on the growth period of the seeds that you choose, and depending on how many or how much vegetables you use in your home. If you have a southern greenhouse, living in a warmer climate during the winter months, you could easily put your greenhouse to work for you growing flowers, plants and starters for areas of the country who do not have your warmer climate advantage. When your greenhouse is inexpensive to heat, or when it does not require heat year round, you can profit greatly from the use of your greenhouse in business.