If you love to grow vegetables, but hate all the work that comes with gardening in cold seasons, don’t give up just yet. The winter can still be beautiful and productive.
This article is for anyone looking for some fresh ideas on what you can grow during the winter. There are many types of gardening, but most people love to plant things with an intention and passion to grow the best they can while they are living in a place or traveling somewhere else.
They do it because they love to do it and want to produce a special crop (vegetables).
Choose a Location to grow vegetables Carefully
Cold season hydroponics is a great way to get a head-start on the growing season, but it takes some planning.
The first step to setting up a winter hydroponics garden is to choose where you will set up your system. You want a location that is well-lit, preferably with a southern exposure for maximum sunlight, and close to an outlet for convenient access to electrical power. The greater the amount of sunlight the space receives, the more plants you can grow in your system. You should also consider what temperature range the room or space typically maintains, as you will want to maintain a steady temperature around 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you live in areas that experience long periods of cold weather with temperatures below freezing, you will need some type of covering for your windows to keep out the cold air, such as insulated plastic. You can even make your own using polyethylene sheets and two-inch bubble wrap insulation taped together into one sheet. This will help keep your plants warm and save on heating costs in the winter.
If you don’t have any available indoor space at all, you can set up an outdoor greenhouse instead. A basic greenhouse is made of a floor and four walls placed in an open area where it can receive sunlight during daylight hours.
What is a cold frame?
When you’re running a Hydroponic greenhouse, the cold frame is one of your best friends. A cold frame is essentially a bottomless box that sits flush to the ground, and is covered by a glass or plastic lid. The box serves as a mini-greenhouse, and can be used to protect your plants from rain and cold temperatures, while at the same time allowing in sunlight and fresh air. If you live in a climate with harsh winters but have access to sun during the day, you can use a cold frame to grow vegetables even in the winter months.
A cold frame can be made out of wood, or concrete blocks and lumber. The lid or cover can be made out of polycarbonate plastic sheets or double pane glass—this material will make sure your plants are protected from everything except extreme windy conditions. Cold frames are typically built with an angle to allow rainwater to run off into the soil.
If you want to grow veggies in the wintertime without using a lot of artificial heat, then you’ll need to position your cold frame so that it faces south for maximum sun exposure. You’ll also want to make sure that it has its own dedicated water source l–and that it’s not exposed to any animals (like rabbits)
Grow Vegetables That Prefer Cooler Temperatures
When the growing season ends, many people fear that they can no longer enjoy growing vegetables. But it doesn’t have to be this way. With hydroponics, you can grow vegetables all year round, even if you live in a climate with brutal winters.
If you’re interested in learning how to grow vegetables in cold season hydroponics, read on to find out which plants are best suited for these conditions.
While you certainly don’t want to be growing corn or summer squash during the winter, there are plenty of other plants that do just fine in cooler temperatures.
These include leafy greens such as kale and spinach, root vegetables like carrots and beets, and some herbs like parsley and thyme.
Don’t Forget the Hardening Off Process
Just as you wouldn’t jump in the pool without first getting used to the water, you need to take some time before moving your plants from the controlled environment of your greenhouse to the harsher outdoor conditions.
Start hardening off plants at least two weeks before their last frost date. The process should last a minimum of five days and be extended if necessary for especially sensitive plants such as tomatoes and peppers.
The hardening off process begins with exposing the plants only for a couple of hours at a time and gradually increasing the amount of time they are exposed to outside conditions over the course of several days. If possible, increase exposure by a couple of hours each day until they are able to be out in their new environment 24/7.
On day one, bring your seedlings out in early morning or late afternoon when temperatures are cooler and leave them out for an hour or two. Bring them back into their normal growing environment when it gets too hot or cold outside, but don’t leave them unprotected during this time.
While outside, gently turn over the pot on its side so that more surface area is exposed to direct sunlight and air temperature fluctuations. These steps will help toughen up stems, leaves, and roots while getting them used to being exposed to te new environment.
Now you know how to grow vegetables in cold season. If your plants are not doing well, look at the temperature, and make sure it is not too hot or too cold. You can use heating device under the grow table to raise the temperature up to 5°C.
Some plants need a lot of light for good growth, so you should think about putting them closer to lamps. Different plants can withstand different temperatures; so you have to study their needs before you start growing them.