Growing in a greenhouse over winter must be the most common subject in the comments of any of our social media. Although I’m not sure it’s always phrased well, I think people actually mean what is what seeds can they sow that will germinate and grow to the point where you can harvest them and eat them. Which is a slightly different thing. So I thought we might break it down a little bit and chat about that this week. I’ve also got a wee gadget or two to show you that might help with your winter growing fun.
So over the last few months, I’ve been chatting each week about the seeds I’ve been sowing and I’ve emphasised anything you are thinking of growing from the end of August, September and October need to be hardy. Meaning it needs to be a plant that stands up to the cold temperatures of the later months of Autumn and winter. Hence why I’ve recommended things like Autumn king carrots, Winter Gem Lettuce, Chinese greens etc. These are all plants that can survive the colder weather. So if you’ve already got them sown before that weather comes in, you’ve got strong little plants. So here is where we move topics because I said if you have already got those sown. That’s because even if a plant can stand the cold temperatures and frost of winter, you need to think about the temperatures needed for the seeds to germinate before you can know if you can grow from seed later in the year. That’s why we talked a lot about sowing in August and September when the ground or your potting mix in the greenhouse is still warm enough to encourage germination. Winter lettuce is some of the best for cold germination and will usually still germinate and grow in November, albeit a little bit slower. And things like broad beans and peas will still germinate and grow in those colder months but what about other winter veg? Well, that’s what we’re talking about in this week’s video, to keep sowing, you need to try to keep the soil a little warmer to encourage those seeds to germinate.
I’m talking about this germination of seeds and how we can try to squeeze those extra few days of sowing and growing time using propagators. You guys have seen me use propagators before, in fact, we’ve talked about them a lot over spring months when we’re doing a lot of sowing, but they are useful in the colder winter months too when you want to kick start those winter hardy veg and salad that will grow safely in the greenhouse, once you get them to actually germinate.
So let me introduce you to my favourite propagators all of which are standard unheated propagators that you can pick up cheaply in your local garden centre… and let me introduce you to the beast, my vitopod heated propagator that is replacing my indoor growing station I used last winter.