Varieties of salads for cultivation under cover guarantee fresh, crunchy leaves in late autumn, and even in winter with a good protection. In addition to their taste, these plants are full of vitamins and irreplaceable in some dishes. A polytunnel, thanks to the microclimate created by the cover, will facilitate harvest several times a year. Moreover, the fact that most varieties are resistant to low temperatures represents a key feature, enabling their cultivation during cold months.
Varieties of salads for cultivation under cover in a polytunnel
The number of available species and varieties is huge. Among them, we can mention head, leafy, long-leaved, curly and gem lettuces. In addition, chicory, endives, and lamb’s lettuce can be added to the whole family, and are just a few of the possible options. They all have different taste, growing methods, date of planting and maturation time. It is difficult to clearly determine which ones are better. It is worth matching them with the type of soil and space available in the vegetable garden. If you want to speed up harvests, you can use seedlings.
Garden boxes and cold frames
In addition to seedlings, placing them inside a greenhouse will speed up harvest by 2 weeks. Cultivating in the open means that sowing can only be carried out after the threat of frost has disappeared. In polytunnels, plastic foil contributes to a favorable temperature so plants can develop faster than outside the greenhouse. Growers often use garden boxes. These frames enable cultivation of several different species that cannot grow next to each other in one given site. These are simple wooden constructions with high sides. Their interior is filled with a soil rich in macro and micro elements with the required pH for yield.
Additionally, mini foil tunnels are used to produce seedlings, which will develop green mass and then get transferred to their permanent place. Sometimes, raised beds located in a greenhouse are also covered. Such a double membrane guarantees protection even from the most severe frosts.
Sowing and planting salads
Salads as a plant, strongly reacts to duration of days. If these are long, lettuce devotes all its energy to grow and then develop seeds. Leaves then lose most of their taste. Instead of being crispy, they get hard and bitter. To avoid this, sowing should be adjusted to the above mentioned specification. Numerous varieties have different requirements in this respect, so it’s rather recommended to follow the supplier’s suggestions on the packaging. For proper growth, it is necessary to maintain 12 degrees Celsius.