Asked February 27, 2019, 1:48 PM EST

I would like to grow vegetables in the winter, what’s a good way do that economically? My daughter’s family lives on ten acres in the Lacomb area so I could set up something there.

Linn County Oregon

1 Response

Hi and thanks for contacting Ask an Expert.
The title of your email says greenhouse. Do you have a greenhouse? If so, would you describe it to me.
Starting seedlings indoors for transplant outside later when the weather warms up this year would be my first choice.
Lacomb is quite a bit colder longer than down near the river. Now is not the time to consider planting outside. The soil is wet and too cold to sustain new plants.
However to plan for next winter, I would either look into the greenhouse if you do not have one or economically set up some cold frames that you would plant in the early fall. Cold frames are usually set in the ground or you can surround them with straw bales for insulation and cover with old windows. This will keep the warmth in and the glass will allow the sun (when available) to shine in. Straw bales can also be used to plant in. I am adding some links to instructions for building cold frames or adding heating cables to keep them warm during the winter months.
The last link shows a raised bed with PVC hoops and then covered with either plastic or row cover. Ifyou have a sheltered area that receives a lot of sun, you can use this idea for winter crops.
Winter crops are typically started in late August, earlySeptember. You want them well situated before the cold weather comes. Plants like broccoli, cabbage,Brussel's sprouts, root veggies, collards and kale do well in colder climates if already established. In fact collards, kale and Brussel's sprouts actually turn somewhat sweet.
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