There’s a lot of things growing in the greenhouse right about now, so I thought I would give a virtual tour. The below photo shows the view as you walk in, and amazingly there is actually room to walk at the moment. It was pretty crowded for most of the winter. I had several containers of mint that I overwintered in the greenhouse, and once they started growing and the weather moderated a bit I moved them outside. You can see I still have a small space heater in there, but it is time to move it out and hook up the ventilation fan I use most of the year to keep the air moving.
The benches aren’t completely full either. I have several potted chives that spend most of the time there, and they have greened up nicely in the last week or so. We have enjoyed the chives in several dishes, and they are handy to have. I also have them planted out in the ground, but those are just now thinking about coming up. In the below photo, the one on the left is a flat leaf kind while the rest are round leaf varieties. You can also see one of the yellow sticky strips that are part of my greenhouse natural pest control. It looks like it’s about time to put up new ones.
Next to the chives I have two mini salad boxes. One is planted with arugula, and a couple of those plants have started bolting. I’ll continue to harvest from this one until a newly planted one is ready. More on the replacement in a minute. Last fall I planted what I call the HA Cold Hardy strain from seed I have saved over the last few years.
The other salad box is planted with a mix of greens including pak choi, tatsoi, komatsuna, mizuna and mizspoona. Some of the greens have started bolting, so I need to replant this one too. I’ve just now started seeds for a new box, so it will be a couple of weeks before they are ready. This one still has quite a few edible greens left though. We have enjoyed them in salads and soups, and my wife added some to her scrambled eggs the other day.
In the greenhouse beds, I’ve got several different veggies and herbs growing, and I’ll show a few of them. One green I’m growing for the first time is called Mizspoona Salad Select. It’s a selection of a Frank Morton cross between mizuna and tatsoi that can be eaten raw or cooked. As you can see in the below photo, the leaves resemble mizuna though they are more substantial. It has a mild flavor like mizuna or tatsoi, and based on what I have seen and tasted so far it is a keeper. It survived near 0°F temps in the greenhouse this winter, so it has that going for it too. Wild Garden Seeds and Fedco are two sources for the seeds.
Next to the mizspoona is a planting of Calypso cilantro that has been going strong since last June. I’m still waiting for it to bolt, which is pretty amazing to me. I’ll be growing this strain again for sure. Cilantro pesto is one of my new favorite things, and after I took the below photo I cut the plants and made another batch of it.
Another first timer for me in the greenhouse is True Siberian kale. This variety came from Adaptive Seeds, and is supposed to be hardy and highly productive. We just got our first taste of it, and I will share my thoughts and photos on my next Harvest Monday post. I’ll let the six plants grow on until I need the space in the bed for something else. I found a fascinating article about kale titled All about Russian & Siberian Kale at the Seed Ambassadors Project website. Well, at least it was fascinating to me, and it might be to other kale fans as well.
On the other side of the greenhouse, that bed has a whole lot of spinach going on! I’ve got Viroflay, Amsterdam Prickly Seeded, Giant Winter and Space planted. The lighter green leaves in the below photo are the Giant Winter, which we have been enjoying for salads. You can also see plenty of chickweed in the bed, which seems to do amazingly well in the winter, even though I never plant it! I know it’s edible but I have to say I prefer the spinach. This bed has come a long way from how it looked back in December.
The thick leaves of the Amsterdam spinach are a dark green and very flavorful. I think spinach from the store is usually blah tasting, but not this one. I like the sturdy leaves for cooking. I think some of it is going in a batch of Spinach Lasagna Rolls later this week. The leaves usually get more pointed later in the season.
The lettuce plants have started growing finally, after not doing much all winter. That’s Simpson Elite in the below photo, growing next to the spinach. I also have Red Sails and Winter Density planted.
Last week I started another salad box of arugula to replace the one that is starting to bolt. This time I planted two varieties, Speedy and Apollo. I started the seeds back in February, so these plants will be giving us edible leaves in no time. It’s my first time growing Speedy. It’s the one I an holding, with the serrated leaves. Apollo is on the right in the below photo and has rounded leaves. Both are touted for their excellent taste, though I have to say I pretty much never met an arugula I didn’t like.
I have one last plant to show you, and this one isn’t exactly in the greenhouse. It is a volunteer Golden Corn Salad plant that has managed to grow all winter in a crack between the greenhouse door and the concrete pavers just outside the door. It has been covered in snow and ice, as well as frequently stepped on. Talk about a survivor! Some of the leaves are a little ragged but I think it would look good on a salad. I let the plants go to seed last year, and now I have volunteers coming up all around the kitchen garden area. I got the seed from Michelle, and she did a spotlight on this close relative of mache. I will start some of this lovely salad green once I free up a salad box.
I hope you have enjoyed seeing what’s happening in the Happy Acres greenhouse in May. It will be a busy place for sure in the next couple of months as seed starting and transplanting activities get into full swing.