We have all wondered before about what plants will grow in a greenhouse in a UK winter. Note for this article we are talking about unheated greenhouses. If you plan on heating your greenhouse then obviously you will be able to grow an even wider variety of plants.
One key thing to remember is that plants won’t grow as quickly in winter as they do in spring and summer. The winter gardener has to be a patient gardener! Some plants may not ever make it to full development when grown over winter, but they can still be harvested and provide a delicious winter bounty.
There are lots of different plants you can grow, and some will do better some years than others depending on the severity of the winter. However, the plants I am going to list below are some of my favourite plants to grow over winter. So if you have ever wondered what to grow in a greenhouse in winter then check out my recommendations below.
Potatoes can be grown overwinter in a greenhouse using pots, buckets or even the ground if you have a soil floored greenhouse.
It would be best if you found large pots or buckets if using this method. Half fill them with soil, plant your potatoes then cover. We recommend one or two potatoes per container depending on the size.
Carrots can be grown over winter if planted in autumn; we have a full article here on how to mulch carrots for winter.
This is a vegetable that thrives in the cold. You can harvest Spinach almost all winter long, particularly when using a greenhouse. Spinach is a quick growing hardy veg making it perfect for growing in your greenhouse over winter.
You can start garlic off in your greenhouse early in the new year. You can then think about moving it outside in early spring. As soon as the soil is soft enough to be dug, you can transplant your garlic out of the winter greenhouse.
Lettuce is a great vegetable to grow in the greenhouse over winter. Lettuce is very cold tolerant, and some varieties are also frost resistant.
Getting your greenhouse ready for winter
There are lots of different types of heaters you can use in your greenhouse over winter. If you have power in your greenhouse, I really like these tube heaters. They are efficient to run and can keep your greenhouse from freezing on those icy winter nights.
Recycled Plastic Bottles
This is a great little trick to help keep heat inside your greenhouse in winter. Get an old plastic bottle and paint it black and fill with water. Due to the black paint, the water will absorb the suns heat throughout the day and then slowly release this heat throughout the night.
These heated pats sit under your seed trays and keep them toasty. A great way to provide targeted heat to specific plants.
The only issue with winter gardening is not just the temperature but also the lack of daylight. Fear not though, for if your greenhouse has power, you can get LED grow lights. These lights provide all the light your plants need to grow and can make up for the lack of sunlight we get here in the UK on winter days.