Thursday, January 24, 2013

January Arugula

This is the first winter garden I have ever had and look at this lovely Arugula!  It was so fun to harvest this in the greenhouse today.
I planted the unheated greenhouse in the middle of November. The plants have been growing really slowly in the cold temps, but they have been growing! It has been about 30 degrees warmer in the greenhouse than outside. I have 55 gallon drums painted black and filled with water inside the greenhouse that absorb the heat from the sun during the day and heat the greenhouse at night. I talked with another greenhouse enthusiast who said her heating bills went down 40% by using barrels like mine. I learned it from my Dad who did the same thing on a smaller scale with black 5 gallon buckets under a plastic wrapped PVC frame to keep our tomatoes warm in Wyoming when I was younger.
This warmer weather we have had here in Fort Collins  lately has really sped up the growth of the greenhouse plants. We have been opening the doors when it gets above 70 degrees in the greenhouse to get good ventilation to the plants which keeps disease down and makes for healthy plants.
Another cool thing about this Arugula is that it was grown in a soilless mixture of sand and sawdust! I have been feeding the plants with a micronutrient mix to give it more nutrients than are available in our widespread depleted soils these days.  It is like doing hydroponics in soil. Organic and nourishing to the max. Yum!
These two bags of Arugula are sold to two lucky people today. :)

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