January lettuce

Anyone remember the small greenhouse (or large cold frame) I built last fall? Well it’s paying off (easy, when the windows were free) already! We had a thaw of sorts over the weekend. The temps got up in to the 40’s and our heavy blanket of snow melted to just a few inches. So I thought I’d check on the greenhouse.


We’d had several cold nights in December where the temps dropped below zero (farenheit) and I wanted to check on my little spinach plants. I figured the lettuce would be little piles of mushy leaves. There’s a reason no one freezes lettuce to save it for later. So I was more then amazed when I removed the front door to find this

happy little plants

Happy little lettuce plants! The ones on the edge are more perky then the ones in the center. And those closest to the south facing door look pretty dead. But still!!! Local lettuce, in VT, in January?! Crazy talk! I think I have an explination. Just before our coldest nights we had a deep snow. With 24-36 inches of snow on the ground my little greenhouse was almost completely buried. Only the south facing door was exposed at all. I have to guess that the snow insulated the greenhouse, and since the earth is warmer then the air (frozen, but still warmer then zero) the little plants survived the cold.

january salad

I picked a big bowl of greens, and we’ve been enjoying our garden produce for several days now. I left the center whorls and baby leaves of the plants. All along my plan for the spinach was to let it over winter so it’ll start growing again in early spring and provide greens before new seeds would even begin to sprout. Now I’m thinking this crazy red lettuce may start growing again in spring too. It would help if we could get another insulating blanket of snow before it gets really cold again. Where do I put in my weather requests?

2 responses to “January lettuce

  1. Hmm – a tattered old quilt or blanket is a time-honored way to insulate a cold frame. I could bring you a couple next weekend . . .

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