The Q&A Archives: Greenhouse Vegetables

Question: We are setting up a 25 X 100 foot greenhouse for our family vegetable garden, we would like to get some extended growing time and I am wondering what seed varieties would be good for that kind of environment. We want to grow a variety of vegetables; tomatoes, cukes, carrots, peas, beans, zucchini, radishes, lettuce etc.

Are there specific varieties that would grow well in this environment, or does it really not matter?

Answer: Interestingly enough, some of the plants you listed grow better in cool soil and cool air temperatures and others grow better with warm soil and warm air temperatures, so it would be hard ot mix them all together with good results. Many gardeners get a jump on spring by growing cool season veggies very very early in a hoop house or cold frame, neither of which is heated but which offer some protection from the elements. Many also get a jump on their warm season plantings by setting their transplants out to harden in a cold frame and then planting them out under "blankets" which provide protection against varying degrees of frost. Many of the warm season crops also prefer a warm soil, so some gardeners will "preheat" it by covering it with black plastic or a similar material to enhance its heat holding. When selecting varieties for specialized planting techniques, you need to look for the qualities most important to you -- there are often tradeoffs between a plant's quick yield or tolerance for undue heat or cold vs flavor or keeping quality and so on.

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