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Eliot Coleman writes in The Winter Harvest Handbook
that once day length reaches 10 hours, plants will start growing
rapidly. By mid-February, virtually all of the U.S. has more than 10
hours of daylight. In theory, we could all start growing this month!
But, of course, temperature is also a factor that affects plant growth
and in quite a bit of the U.S., the temperature is still too low.
with hoophouses, however, know that conditions are much warmer under
that single layer of greenhouse poly. And if they have a low tunnel
inside the hoophouse, they know it's positively spring-like some days
in February. And so it does become possible to start growing this month.
key to hoophouse planting this month is to choose crops that can
tolerate cold temperatures and light frosts. Most can be direct seeded
now and they will grow as soon as the soil temperature is warm enough
for germination. With that inner layer of row cover held above the
young plants, temperatures will be warm enough to keep them thriving.
Crops that can be seeded in late winter in the hoophouse: arugula
, lettuce, mustard
, salad greens
, and turnips
Here's the seeding schedule used by Adam Montri
, hoophouse outreach specialist at Michigan State University.• Subscribe to Growing for
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from JSS Advantage February 2011