Own greenhouse construction in a summer cottage or garden gives an excellent opportunity to get fresh and environmentally friendly vegetables year-round. Vegetables such as cucumbers, sweet peppers and tomatoes, as well as some berries and greens, are the most popular in winter.
Despite the apparent simplicity, winter growing vegetables in a greenhouse requires a very careful attitude to all stages of the process. The technology of growing vegetables in the winter is characterized by some features. However, vegetables grown in the greenhouse in winter are characterized by consistently high taste and good yield.
Most often, greenhouses or greenhouse structures based on translucent polycarbonate are used all year round for growing vegetable products. It is in such constructions of protected ground that many gardeners of our country grow vegetables for a whole year. Before you grow seedlings or cultivate plants all year round, you should choose the most suitable plant species for this purpose.
Growing vegetables has long been a familiar activity for most gardeners. Before you grow a good crop, you should take into account the biological characteristics of the crop grown, as well as make the right choice of variety and type of plant. For most experienced and responsible gardeners, it is not a secret that some vegetable crops bear fruit well when grown in polycarbonate-based structures, but they sharply reduce yield on ridges of open ground.
Polycarbonate-coated structures are characterized not only by high strength, but also by a low degree of thermal conductivity. In addition, a feature of polycarbonate is its excellent light transmission and frost resistance. Most often, greenhouses with arrangement of a coating of cellular polycarbonate are used. Vegetables in a polycarbonate greenhouse require special attention and care.
The use of cellular polycarbonate and greenhouses based on it speaks in favor of the many advantages of this modern material. If significant amounts of vegetables grown all year round are not needed, then there is always the opportunity to make mini-greenhouses made of polycarbonate. Then the planting of vegetables and their cultivation will be carried out directly in the apartment. Vegetables in such a miniature greenhouse are grown in spring and winter using standard technology. However, polycarbonate indoor greenhouses are most in demand for growing vitamin greenery in winter or spring.
Most suitable plant species
Before you grow a good crop of vegetables, it is advisable to familiarize yourself with the experience of other gardeners who reveal the features of agricultural products all year round.
In early spring and winter, a stably high yield can be obtained in polycarbonate-coated greenhouses when growing the following crops:
- Chinese cabbage;
- Bell pepper;
If you plan to use a polycarbonate greenhouse for the whole year, then before you grow seedlings of crops intended for winter cultivation, you need to perform quality preparation of greenhouse soil. It is allowed to grow seedlings in an apartment on the windowsill. Under winter cultivation, seedlings are grown in the same way as in spring. The apartment is especially successful in planting seedlings of tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers.
Growing vegetables in modern greenhouses
And if seedlings are most often produced in spring, then growing greens using a mini-greenhouse in an apartment becomes especially relevant in winter. Regardless of the type of plant, growing in an apartment in winter involves the installation of additional lighting. Cultivation of plants in spring in greenhouse conditions requires, in addition to highlighting, the installation of equipment for heating the building.
We also offer you to learn about the technology of growing peppers in a greenhouse.
General rules for planting and care
Special attention is required to prepare greenhouse soil in the spring during the operation of the protected ground structure all year round. It is in the spring that the gardener has a huge number of worries associated with disinfecting the soil and applying fertilizers. In addition, in the spring the gardener has an obligation to prepare seed material. Most often, experienced gardeners purchase seeds once a year and use them for year-round planting.
Before you grow a good harvest, you should carry out the following activities:
- to select high-quality and intended for year-round cultivation seed material;
- to heat the greenhouse to air temperature not lower than twenty degrees of heat;
- the presence of subsurface heating involves the temperature indicators of greenhouse soil at the level of eighteen degrees of heat.
If necessary, planting in insufficiently warmed soil, you can perform artificial heating of the soil. To this end, greenhouse ridges are poured with boiling water, and then covered with a film. During such an event, the greenhouse soil warms up to a comfortable temperature in a couple of hours. Next, the sowing of seed material is carried out in accordance with the technology of growing vegetables.
You may also be interested in an article in which we talk about how to choose the right heaters for a greenhouse.
Planting and growing vegetables in greenhouse conditions requires compliance with the requirements for combining plants. Mixed planting does not always benefit crop yields, so in spring or winter you need to be very careful about planning your landing area in the greenhouse. The following neighborhood of vegetables and greens is optimal:
- various types of onions, as well as garlic, are successfully combined with plantings of carrots, radishes, celery, parsley, parsnip and cabbage;
- almost all vegetable crops grow well next to black or white radish;
- the spinach root system releases saponins, which increase the yield of potatoes, beets, tomatoes and beans;
- bush beans are an ideal "neighbor" for radishes, cucumbers, corn, cabbage, strawberries, pumpkins, beets and carrots;
- white and cauliflower, as well as Brussels sprouts, broccoli and kohlrabi grow best next to any onion, beans, and spicy herbs such as mint, chamomile, sage or dill.
Correct crop rotation
The alternation of vegetable and green crops in greenhouses is very important. Such a concept as crop rotation is undeservedly forgotten by many gardeners who most often plant plants of the same species on the same planting area for several years. In addition, it should be remembered that many vegetable crops and green plants can have a negative effect on the fertility of greenhouse soil.
Proper crop rotation is based on knowledge of the following features of vegetable crops and green plants:
- any types of cabbage, as well as celery, are very demanding on soil nutrition;
- most root crops belonging to the celery family, as well as table beets, turnips, all types of radishes and radishes are less susceptible to a lack of nutrients in the greenhouse soil;
- legume crops, which are considered ideal precursors for most vegetable crops, improve the fertility of greenhouse soil very effectively.
Vegetables such as zucchini, cucumbers and pumpkin can be classified as intermediate plants between very demanding and less demanding soil fertility. Solanaceous plants, as well as any types of onions, salads, spinach and corn, belong to the same type of plants.
To perform an effective crop rotation and minimize soil depletion, it is necessary to alternate all three groups of plants listed above on greenhouse ridges every three years.
The most competent and correct option is to grow vegetables in the following sequence:
- the first year you need to plant on the ridges in the greenhouse plants from the category of very demanding crops;
- the second year, the planting of legumes is carried out, contributing to the restoration of fertility, increasing the amount of nitrogen in the soil and improving the soil structure;
- the third year is characterized by the planting of any less demanding crops.
You can find out what lighting should be like in a greenhouse design here.
Tips & Tricks
- Improving the condition of greenhouse year-round plantings allows seeding to the main vegetable crops of ornamental plants that secrete substances of a phytoncidal or insecticidal nature, including nasturtium, calendula or mattiola.
- Particular attention in the year-round use of greenhouse constructions should be given to the acquisition and installation of the highest quality and most efficient lighting, heating and ventilation equipment.
- It is almost impossible to get more than two harvests of tomatoes and sweet peppers in one year, which is due to the long growing season. Many gardeners violate the natural farming technique of cultivation and use hydroponics or various stimulants that increase productivity, but make vegetables tasteless and watery.
Growing greens in a greenhouse in winter
Only strict adherence to all stages of the cultivation technology makes it possible to use the greenhouse structure with maximum benefit all year round and get stable harvests of high-quality vegetable products.