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October 30, 2009 / Malcolm Dalebö

How to Grow Winter Crops in the Polytunnel

All of the frost-tender ornamentals have been dug up and replanted in the polytunnels on plot 13 and 18 and we were pleased to discover that we had about fourty five foot of 6 foot wide space still available on plot 18. So, we decided that we couldn’t let our investment in the polytunnels go to waste and we had to use that space over the winter and discover what we can and cannot grow.
Therefore, management drew up a list of what she wanted to grow, some of which we were already planning to grow outdoors over the winter:

  • Shallots
  • Onions
  • Spring Onions -Lisbon winter strain
  • Garlic
  • Leeks (a long-time favourite)
  • Lettuce
  • Kohl Rabi
  • Beetroot
  • Spinach
  • Broad beans

We already had growing in trays the garlic, onions, lettuce and spring onions that we had planned to grow outdoors, so an evening spent on the web made us decide to try the shallot called ‘Jermor’, which is a traditional French shallot and much appreciated in the proverbial land of food. For leeks we would grow ‘Giant Russian’, the Kohl Rahbi is ‘Purple Vienna’, broad beans will be ‘Jubilee Hysor’, once again we will grow Beetroot ‘Bolt Hardy’, and finally spinach ‘Winter Giant’ will complete our winter polytunnel growing.

The frustrating thing is seeing how much we can’t grow because those ornamentals are taking up so much space!
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