Extending The Growing Season With A Greenhouse

The cooler temperatures are here, the leaves have fallen to the ground, and many of us have closed our outdoor gardens for another year. But out in my greenhouse, life is good. My plants are still thriving and producing fruit, even without heat! 

This has been my maiden growing season with the greenhouse, so I’ve been excited to see just how long I’d be able to take advantage of it in my Quebec climate, which is classified as zone 3 (brr!). 

greenhouse update

Living where we do, we opted not to heat the greenhouse. Wintertime temperatures dip to -20°C (-4°F) and colder; our electricity bills would be astronomical! The cost of keeping it warm wouldn’t offset the price of food

Long story short, it’s October, and I’m still happily harvesting tomatoes, eggplants, sweet and jalapeno peppers, and up until a couple of weeks ago, cucumbers from my greenhouse! 

All of this despite several touches of frost in my neck of the woods.

The eggplants are certainly much smaller than they were in the summer, but they’re still great for a roasted veggie lasagna or pitas with hummus. 

Season Extending Capabilities

The roof features windows that open and close automatically. In the colder weather, these have remained shut. And it’s incredible how well the polycarbonate windows work in retaining the free heat from the sunlight. 

greenhouse update

I have also helped prolong my season by “insulating” the greenhouse interior with bales of straw. I have these in anticipation of a strawbale garden I have planned for next spring (stay tuned for blogs on that!), so I’m keeping them dry in the greenhouse while also putting them to good use for now. 

The greenhouse was quite the investment when you consider the cost of material and the landscaping we had to do to prepare for it. 

greenhouse update

But in all honesty, we are so thrilled with this addition to our yard. The greenhouse fruits and veggies we grew all summer long were prolific. 

And the fact that it’s October and I’m still harvesting and enjoying the smell of cedar every day makes it so worth it. Even without heat, the greenhouse is a definite season extender! 

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Catherine Sherriffs

Editor at Garden Culture Magazine

Catherine is a Canadian award-winning journalist who worked as a reporter and news anchor in Montreal’s radio and television scene for 10 years. A graduate of Concordia University, she left the hustle and bustle of the business after starting a family. Now, she’s the editor and a writer for Garden Culture Magazine while also enjoying being a mom to her three young kids. Her interests include great food, gardening, fitness, animals, and anything outdoors.