Saturday, November 11, 2017

Winter growth slow down

Outdoor potted lettuce

Saturday, November 11, 2017

If you have noticed that plants stop growing in the winter, whether indoors or out, you would be right.  It is not just the temperatures that affect this slow down.  It is the amount of sunlight!  

Basically, plants go dormant when receiving less than 10 hours of daylight.  For my latitude, this is from November 17-January 24.  You can look on the weather channel to see when your daylight hits 10 hours.

When planting in the fall for winter crops, you need to plan that they are at full, harvestable size by November 17th (I add 14 days to be on the safe side).  They will remain basically this size until the end of January, when they begin regrowing.  If growing in a greenhouse, the warmer temperatures will help plants grow, but at a much slower rate than during longer daylight times.  

The same techniques for protecting spring crops work for your fall and winter gardens.  Protect your new plants from a late frost
Lettuce and greens in January under a portable green house

Growth starts back up at the end of January, for indoor and outdoor plants.  The lettuce, chard, sorrel, cabbage, kale, celery, and herbs that have overwintered will start growing with vigor again after this time with clear days and warmer temperatures.

Covering plants with row covers or portable greenhouses can help your plants grow; warmth does make a difference.  Just don’t expect significant growth until we get back to at least 10 hours of sunlight.

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