Winter greens for the greenhouse or early planting outside

I can’t wait anymore! I got this newly completed greenhouse and am antsy to try it out. I’ve done a lot of research on which plants might do well in the winter and am ready to rock n’ roll! So I am planting cold hardy seeds this week inside the house. I will transplant them into my new greenhouse when they are bigger. I’m also going to try some direct seeding in the greenhouse in the raised beds like arugula, spinach, kale, baby bok choi and mache in mid-February-all of which can handle some pretty cold weather. How cold? We will see soon although you wouldn’t know it by this week. I will also plant other greens like some winter hardy lettuces, peas, and a winter hardy variety of chard called Argentata at the end of February-beginning of March. Everything planted in the greenhouse will have to have row cover over it even in the greenhouse at this early date because of our cold nights. For those of you who do not have a hoophouse, or cold frame, the seeds in the list below will do well outside only you have to wait a little longer.

Here is my list of cold hardy crops to try in the greenhouse. You can also plant these outside in March once the soil is not frozen and cover them with row cover:

From Johnny’s Seeds:
‘5-star greenhouse’ lettuce mix
‘Space’ Spinach

From Southern Exposure Seed Exchange:
‘Even’ Star’ Winter Arugula
‘Winter Bloomsdale’ spinach

From Kitazawa Seed Co:
‘Mei Qing Choi’ (dwarf pak choi)-recommended in ‘Four Season Harvest’ by Eliot Coleman
‘Tatsoi’ (pak choi)-recommended in ‘Four Season Harvest’ by Eliot Coleman
‘Golden Yellow’ pak choi
‘Astro’ arugula

From The Cooks’ Garden:
‘Red Grenoble’ lettuce
‘Forellenschluss'(speckled trout) lettuce
‘Rouge D’Hiver’ lettuce-recommended in ‘Four Season Harvest’ by Eliot Coleman

From John scheepers Kitchen Garden:
‘Argentata’ Chard-recommended in ‘Four Season Harvest’ by Eliot Coleman

From Agua Fria Nursery: transplants ready to plant
mache (corn salad)-recommended in ‘Four Season Harvest’ by Eliot Coleman
endive-recommended in ‘Four Season Harvest’ by Eliot Coleman
‘Winter Wonder’ lettuce
‘Marshall Red’ romaine lettuce

7 comments on “Winter greens for the greenhouse or early planting outside

  1. Laurie says:

    Thanks, Jannine. I’ve been wanting to try mache. Delighted to know a good source nearby. Good luck with all of these! Sound like a BIG effort.


  2. Awesome post and thank you for sharing


  3. Tim Doebler says:

    Thanks for sharing. I am really paying attention to your greenhouse adventure. Adding a greenhouse is on my to do list……………want to see how it goes for you. I have learned a lot already from you……………please keep the posts coming.


  4. gene solyntjes says:


    Outstanding! Even thought the icestorm collapsed my greenhouse I can’t wait to get back to New Mexico, resurrect it, and start growing early, my veggies this year.

    i do believe you are on the right track and using your green house you will be ahead and have RED tomatoes earlier this year and all the other veggies you will be growing will benefit also.I believe multi-layered FRC will aid you greatly in preserving plants overnight, when planting early.

    Good Luck!

    Gene and Linda


  5. Amy says:

    Hi! We built a greenhouse (also in NM) last year and have been experimenting with what grows in there, so I’m excited to see your results. Our greenhouse has supplemental heat to keep it (barely) above 32F and it swings up to about 90 degrees on sunny days. Despite the huge temperature swings, we have been successfully growing lettuce, chard, kale, radish, beets, leeks, and tomatoes (!) through the heart of winter. (OK, the leeks and tomatoes I would say are only semi-successful—we’re harvesting just a few small tomatoes and the leeks are growing very slowly. The tomato was a volunteer, though!) In the past month we have also started carrots, peas, spinach, and broccoli. Have had a few failures which might have been expected (with cucumbers, chiles, brussels sprouts, okra). Looking forward to seeing what the greenhouse is capable of in the spring! Happy experimenting!


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