A plastic water bottle greenhouse for winter lettuce
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Plastic Water Bottle Greenhouse for Winter Lettuce

I have been reading books on extending the growing season and now seems to be the perfect time to try an experiment with winter lettuce. The plastic container should act like a tiny greenhouse and my lettuce should grow even when it snows.

Greetings fellow gardeners,  

It is cool this morning and the air is crisp. It is always such a scramble to get ready for the winter season. This is the time of year that the rodents try to break into my house–mice, shrews, voles, and even errant chipmunks. A foolish endeavor considering the too-many cats. 

The too-many cats love this time of year and make short work of the intruders. And because they are well fed and happy, they see no need to consume the entire rodent and leave small offerings for me in interesting places. I cannot stress enough the importance of checking your shoes before you put them on in the morning. Lesson learned.

My Fairy Garden

While I have been emptying pots and disposing of old plants, I am so impressed with the show of colour that many of my annuals are displaying. There are still large drifts of sweet-smelling white alyssum and the brilliant pop of orange calendulas and purple osteospermum. I will be leaving these annuals until a hard frost takes them out. My dahlias are still blooming. Remember to wait until the dahlia foliage is frosted and then dig up the dahlia tubers to store for the winter. My little summer fairy garden is still enjoying the sunshine on the front step. I will probably replace the purple alyssum and fairy accessories with bright solar lights. It makes such a happy display when everything else is cold and grey.

  Summer Fairy Garden

Plastic Water Bottle Greenhouse

My lettuce (Black-seeded Simpson) continues to grow despite the cool evenings. I have been reading books on extending the growing season and now seems to be the perfect time to try an experiment.

  • I found a large pot and filled it with good compost and soil.
  • The pot is placed in a full sun situation
  • Then I went on a mission to find a large plastic jug. This year I have added several large clear plastic containers to the contents of my potting shed. I found the plastic container in the shed and cut the bottom off of it.
  • The now bottomless container is placed on top of the pot where I had just sown lettuce seeds.

The plastic container should act like a tiny greenhouse and my winter lettuce should grow even when it snows. See the photo below.

These books are very reassuring about getting winter vegetables using these plastic cloches, but I will need to see it to believe it. For now, I am enjoying the harvest while it winds down. As you can see in the picture, I still have lettuce to harvest as well as Swiss chard. 

  Lettuce to harvest and potential winter lettuce

For the next few weeks, I will be pulling things up and putting things away. I also need to move last year’s wood harvest into the wood shelter for winter warmth. This requires a sudden burst of activity so be gentle on your body.

Soon we will be comfortable and warm on dark winter nights planning our summertime garden. Enjoy your week.  Judith. 

Contact Judith through her Website https://www.lapisdragonarts.com/. Find more weekly Veggie Bites experiences on the Veggie Bites page.

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