cold weather growing

William McKay bmckay55 at
Wed Dec 5 21:16:45 EST 2001

I have been using an unheated hoophouse for four years now.  They do work 
reasonably well, although I am in zone five and the coldest we have had is 
-5 for a period.

While all you said is true, it is especially so for certain kinds of 
lettuces.  Head lettuce does especially poorly (they rot at the base);  any 
lettuce much older than about 30 days (assuming it was summer and you had 30 
days worth of growth) does poorly).  Leaf lettuce does best;  tango does ok, 
but I have had pretty good luck with just about any leaf lettuce.  Wild 
arugula does fine as does cultivated arugula (but not as fine).

At -20, however, I don't know.  That is mighty cold.

I can say that I have overwintered rosemary for the past four winters, one 
of which was really brutal.  The thing to do is experiment;  see what works, 
and more importantly, does it sell even if it works.


Bill McKay in E. Massachusetts  and    Distributor of 
Italian Vegetable Seeds from Franchi Sementi, spa, Bergamo, Italy.  Seedsmen 
since 1783.

>sunnfarm at wrote:
> > When its zero outside at night its no more than 5-8* in the hoophouse, 
>most cold hardy stuff will survive but get tip burn after sunup, then start 
>to rot, you can cover beds on ground with plastic and get better 
>protection,using rowcover material scratches tender leaves,I use a heater 
>set at 35* and that solves everything except making a profit...Bob.
> >
> > >I have read the book and many other's.  the problem is when it is 20 
> > >zero for along period of time it is 20 below in the hoop house and 
> > >of how many row covers you have on the lettuce the lettuce will freeze 
> > >turn the leaves brown as soon as you harvest it.
> >

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