Q&A: Lettuce in the Winter?

Follow this tip to grow green vegetables during winter.
Similar Topics:

Q: It's mid November, USDA Zone 4, and I'm growing lettuce and other greens in my well-insulated cold frame. How long can this last? Can I add a light bulb, a string of Christmas lights or other heating device and continue to grow greens through a Minnesota winter?

A: Depending on how well insulated your cold frame is, the microclimate of its location, and on the weather, you should be able to keep cold-tolerant greens growing for quite a while into the cold weather. Some may slow down almost completely and then start growing again in very early spring.

You are right in thinking that a simple heat source such as a light bulb can extend the season significantly. I would caution you that whatever you use should be of good quality and made for long-term operation so that it's as safe as possible; there are in fact heating cables made for such a purpose. In the old days gardeners would build a cold frame over what was essentially a hot manure pile and capture the heat from that. These days we have more options!

Next Up

Ways to Extend Your Harvest This Winter

Get the most out of your garden this winter with these simple tips.

Q&A: Overwintering Bananas

Tips for growing banana plants in cold weather.

Winter Wheat Planting

Put your vegetable garden to bed with a cover crop—and it will wake up next spring with better soil.

The Cold, Hard Facts on Protecting Potted Plants

Get tips for helping your potted plants survive winter.

Q&A: Pruning Coreopsis and Marguerite Daisies

Tips for taking care of these lovely blooms in the winter.

Winter Vegetable Garden

Discover easy ways to keep your winter vegetable garden growing strong—and savor a long harvest.

Seasonal Guide to Vegetable Gardening

Keep your vegetable garden healthy and thriving with this year-long guide to preparation, planting and maintenance.

Winter Vegetable Garden Growing Guide

With a few steps and some planning, you can enjoy garden fresh vegetables all winter.

Growing Winter Vegetables

Save money and grow food even when it's cold outside by growing your own fresh crop of winter veggies.

Plant a Winter Window Box

A window box planted with hardy flowers and foliage offers a garden view when it's too cold to stay outside.

1,000+ Photos

Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.