8 Keys to Growing in Winter in an Unheated Greenhouse (Hoop House)

Today I share our 8 keys to growing in winter in an unheated greenhouse. Though there are other methods that also work well, I’ll focus specifically on what we do.

“Four Season Harvest” by Eliot Coleman: http://amzn.to/2a7jV9R
“The Winter Harvest Handbook” by Eliot Coleman: http://amzn.to/2ahjPiR
“The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener” by Niki Jabour: http://amzn.to/2a7ksbJ
6 mil Greenhouse Plastic: http://amzn.to/2a7jxIl

If you shop on Amazon, you can support OYR simply by clicking this link (bookmark it too) before shopping: http://www.amazon.com/?tag=oneya-20

1) Grow with the Season 0:16
2) Grow in the Sun 1:00
3) Grow Under Cover 1:37
4) Grow in the Ground 2:30
5) Grow in Sucession 2:59
6) Vent to Avoid Overheating 3:40
7) Water Only When Needed 4:59
8) Don’t Harvest Greens When They’re Frozen 5:37

Crops we’re growing now for a winter harvest:

Under One Layer of Protection
Dandelion Greens
French Sorrel
Giant Red Mustard Greens
Good King Henry
Mustard Greens
Perpetual Spinach
Sea Kale
Tree Collards

Two Layers of Protection
Dandelion Greens
Dinosaur Kale
Egyptian Walking Onions
Garlic Chives
Georgia Collards
Giant Red Mustard Greens
Italian Dandelion Greens
Lettuce (Black Seeded Simpson)
Lettuce (Romaine)
Mustard Greens
Perpetual Spinach
Fordhook Giant Swiss Chard
Red Veined Sorrel
Tree Collards
Vates Kale

OYR is all about growing a lot of food on a little land using sustainable organic methods, while keeping costs and labor at a minimum. Emphasis is placed on improving soil quality with compost and mulch. No store-bought fertilizers, soil amendments, pesticides, compost activators, etc. are used.

Hoop House Build: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLApXYvbprElxOaGPGhTZIKALdP29uH2eY


  1. roy hoco on December 4, 2020 at 9:11 pm

    good video
    venting in zone 8a – I installed 4 automatic temperature operated foundation vents in the front and back of my greenhouse, down low in front – up high in back. these open above 45 degrees and allow air to flow through the green house. I also have a small fan on a timer that comes on in the afternoon to help with venting on warmer winter days. I heat with a timer activated ceramic heater on cold nights. I monitor 10 day forecasts and set the timers accordingly.

  2. Dee on December 4, 2020 at 9:11 pm

    Thanks so much for a great and informative video! I’m planning a move to a new home in Nova Scotia where I’ll finally have space for a garden and green house but have no clue how to start! I’ve been reading articles and watching videos but couldn’t find info that really fit with what I want to do. A simple way to grow what I can in the winter months without needing electricity or expensive set ups. Finally a good explanation of how to do just that!

  3. Hilt Tilt on December 4, 2020 at 9:12 pm

    So even in the greenhouse the ground can to a degree and it won’t harm the plants?

  4. John Benson on December 4, 2020 at 9:12 pm

    I am in Zone 7B 5 deg F to 10 deg F. Do I need to heat or cool my green house. I plan on doing a Aquaponics greenhouse.

  5. Paul Swarthout on December 4, 2020 at 9:12 pm

    Thank you. I’m new to this idea of growing over the winter. My wife and I bought an inexpensive 5′ x 5′ x 6′ greenhouse with a polypropylene PE cover to get started with. But the more I learn, the less I know. The only ventilation that’s available in my greenhouse is to roll-up the door, so I’ve added an electric ventilation system that will exchange the inside air every 12 seconds, once the temperature gets above 85 F (29 C). I’ve got a small amount of water (10 gallons) to store some of the heat, but I don’t think it’s enough to make a difference. But there’s a new product that I’ve seen, perhaps you’ve heard of it, or know where to buy some….bioPCM. I’ve got my north wall insulated with a double layer of canvas, but I think replacing it with bioPCM would be a better solution. Or at least putting the bioPCM inside the canvas so it’s exposed to the sunlight.

  6. Protect the children on December 4, 2020 at 9:13 pm

    We’ve just moved and I’m waiting to see where the sun is here with our new surroundings. I watched this b4 but came back for a refresher to show my husband exactly how I want mine to be done. Thank you.

  7. A Hickethier on December 4, 2020 at 9:13 pm

    is it too late in green bay to plant anything for under a few cold frames? (it’s oct 3)

  8. New World Garden Tour on December 4, 2020 at 9:13 pm

    fabulous thanks

  9. The Adhd Gardener on December 4, 2020 at 9:14 pm

    Super informative that I didnt get from other videos..building a greenhouse now (almost done). The plastic wont be permanent cuz I’m using my cattle panel as a trellis in summer so the extra layer of plastic would def be a help..in zone 6b

  10. Joe Stro on December 4, 2020 at 9:14 pm

    Thank you for details! Looking forward to move videos.

  11. Gina Friend on December 4, 2020 at 9:15 pm

    Nice setup. Good information. Thanks

  12. Nexus on December 4, 2020 at 9:17 pm

    Thank you so much for including centigrade, it’s the only thing I’m metric on πŸ˜ŠπŸ™. Awesome video and channel. I’ll need to rewatch this a couple of times. Your hoop house is beautiful and so well kept 😊

  13. clarissamiles on December 4, 2020 at 9:20 pm

    Thank you for your info! My son and I are growing in a low tunnel with 6 mil greenhouse plastic! I didn’t even think about doubling up.

  14. Dana Malcova on December 4, 2020 at 9:21 pm

    LOVE your cat!!! 🐱 – and the vids πŸ˜‰ This one is FANTASTIC!!! Never grew anything in freezing winter – will definitelly gove it a try! Thank you so much for the amazing handy tips!!!

  15. Amy Samida on December 4, 2020 at 9:22 pm

    Great video. Thank you. Going to get some stuff started tomorrow after watching this since we’ve just ordered the greenhouse. Looking forward to watching more of your videos.

  16. Mark PNW on December 4, 2020 at 9:25 pm

    This was good timing, going to try winter gardening in the PNW, 60 miles north of Seattle.

  17. Rupert Baresall on December 4, 2020 at 9:25 pm

    Thank you

  18. Amethystic95 on December 4, 2020 at 9:28 pm

    So glad I stumbled across this video!
    I live in an area that teeters between zones 3 and 4, and I want to find a way to cultivate perennials that might otherwise not survive the winters here, like blueberry plants. I don’t even care about whether I can grow plants during the winter; I just want them to be alive when spring comes!
    It’s definitely colder up here, but hopefully your tips will still come in handy.

  19. Beauty Boss University -Business success training. on December 4, 2020 at 9:28 pm

    Thanks for sharing

  20. Ryan Daffinee on December 4, 2020 at 9:29 pm

    Have a hoop house. with mini hoop inside. self wicking pots. 2 nights at 19F in new england and all my big squash and cucumber died. some greens and carrots look bad. I got lettuce and chard left

  21. Kosta Leotta on December 4, 2020 at 9:29 pm

    I think your plants are dead and how did the snow get in to your green house don’t you have a tarp

  22. marshal m on December 4, 2020 at 9:29 pm

    Very nice visual and very good Voice …be successful at all Work

  23. Dejavu Psychic Speaks on December 4, 2020 at 9:32 pm

    Very helpful!

  24. RAMON TITO on December 4, 2020 at 9:32 pm

    Hi whow can I keep the temperature warm thank you

  25. g cole on December 4, 2020 at 9:35 pm

    Thank you for the great video! I am having trouble with pests in my fall garden. Do you have any suggestions or ideas to help?

  26. Barry Waterfield on December 4, 2020 at 9:36 pm

    What is the plant at 2:47 with the red veins? We bought a house that has this growing in the garden area.

  27. AA Home Gardening on December 4, 2020 at 9:39 pm

    Lovely information as usual
    Can you do a favour and subscribe to my channel as well please
    That would help me a lot

  28. timothy harris on December 4, 2020 at 9:40 pm

    1 Grow with the Season
    2 Grow with the Sun
    3 Grow under Cover
    4 Grow in the Ground
    5 Grow in Succession
    6 Vent to Avoid Overheating
    7 Water Minamilly
    8 Dont Harvest Frozen Greens
    Best of luck everyone great video

  29. Bash Halow on December 4, 2020 at 9:44 pm

    Excellent video. You get right to the point and not a lot of chit chat. You’re also very knowledgeable. Great job!

  30. Karen Stewart on December 4, 2020 at 9:47 pm

    I enjoyed this very much. It is hard to find greenhouse tips that work in Canada!

  31. Donna Leveron on December 4, 2020 at 9:48 pm

    Glad to see your kitty helping out, what would we do without them?

  32. Regine Torok on December 4, 2020 at 9:49 pm

    Will watch again when I have house πŸ™‚ very helpful. Thank you so much

  33. Hidden Blessings Homestead on December 4, 2020 at 9:49 pm

    Thank you we are trying to get the hang of using our greenhouse in all seasons, and I found your video helpful. I am subscribed now.

  34. Mildred Arnold on December 4, 2020 at 9:49 pm

    Are you ok?? Have not seen you online for a very long time. Miss your video’s!!!

  35. mladyhazel on December 4, 2020 at 9:51 pm

    Hi Patrick, thank you for having these wonderful videos, I’m a big fan. I am about to have a greenhouse built to extend my planting and harvest timeline; I live in zone 7b. Do you have any suggestions for when NOT to plant under double cover? I’m finding that really nothing grows for me if I plant after September. Thank you much!!

  36. Ce K on December 4, 2020 at 9:52 pm

    I felt for the cat! I can’t ever trip without an audience either πŸ€“ thanks for the great information, I’m on two acres now and in student mode! For the winter, looking forward to putting all this knowledge into practice come spring. Blessings to you and your garden

  37. Two Turtle Gardens on December 4, 2020 at 9:52 pm

    I am learning from your experiences Patrick I have started my broccoli two weeks ago for my Wintergarden and I am starting some of the lettuces now I’m just looking at what varieties that would be good here in eastern Ontario our climate is pretty much identical to yours in Chicago

  38. Raylin Gomen on December 4, 2020 at 9:52 pm

    It is winter and we have several inches of snow, I didn’t get to planting a ton in my greenhouse in the fall, can I start plants inside and move them into the greenhouse once they are more mature? Obviously hardening them off would be necessary so it wasn’t a big shock, but would this be a good way to get more going before spring?

  39. Kaitte Murry on December 4, 2020 at 9:54 pm

    What zone are you in

  40. Saharin Cuker on December 4, 2020 at 9:56 pm

    interesting points ,if anyone else trying to find out
    university of hawaii aquaponics
    try Proutklarton Surviving Instruction Plan (do a search on google ) ? Ive heard some great things about it and my partner got amazing results with it.

  41. retusaforce on December 4, 2020 at 9:56 pm

    This was very educational. How can 66 people not appreciate it?

  42. Kaitte Murry on December 4, 2020 at 9:56 pm

    What zone are you in.. can you over winter basil and other herbs in a hoophouse

  43. Alma Rebelde on December 4, 2020 at 9:57 pm

    I love how soft your voice is, well spoke , easy to digest video… thank You!

  44. Johnny Hahaha on December 4, 2020 at 9:59 pm

    Hi, thank you for sharing your passion. What brand of pvc sheet do you use to cover the greenhouse? How long it can last? Mine is last only few month that I bought from HomeDepot 6mil 20×100’. Thanks you

  45. D S on December 4, 2020 at 9:59 pm

    What state are you in?
    Also what type of plastic do you use?
    Thanks for the video πŸ˜πŸ‘πŸ½

  46. DarkestKnight on December 4, 2020 at 10:00 pm

    Brief, easily understood, and superbly presented!

  47. Margaret Armstrong on December 4, 2020 at 10:02 pm

    Zone WHAT? xD maybe I’m getting ahead of myself here

  48. Branden Visser on December 4, 2020 at 10:04 pm

    How many hours of sun do you get in your hoophouse in the winter?

  49. Brownbluegreen on December 4, 2020 at 10:05 pm

    Love your videos very helpful. I just bought a poly carbonate greenhouse and am looking for someone who knows when I should start perennial seeds and veggie seedlings to sell May 24 weekend here in Ontario Canada? Beginning of April?

  50. Jim Jones on December 4, 2020 at 10:05 pm


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