Early Spring Hoophouse Growing Guide

Winter Growing in the North!

If you have a hoop house, low-tunnel, or cold frame, it's more than possible to grow fresh veggies in your garden, even during the cold, snowy months of late-winter/early-spring. Once February arrives, the days are long enough to plant seeds again - yes, even in the North zones 5&6. Plants are that amazing!

What to Plant: Cold hardy veggies (see below for our recommendations)

When to Plant: Starting mid-February

How to Plant: Direct sow seeds (the soil temp needs to be above 40 degrees)

Top Crops to Grow

Here are our favorite varieties to plant in our early Spring hoop house here on the farm:

  1. Arugula

    • Baby Arugula greens are mild and tender with a touch of spice, adding a bit of delicate zip to salads. Mature arugula leaves have a peppery flavor that can be mellowed out with cooking. They benefit from a good sauté, braise, stir-fry, or steaming. Try it in soups or in any dish calling for cooked greens. Arugula also makes a great pesto!

Arugula growing in the garden

 Pictured: Arugula (Click for seeds)

  1. Mizuna

    • Super fast-growing and cold-hardy, Mizuna is one of our all-time favorite winter greens. Frilly leaves add interesting texture and loft to salads. The small, young leaves have a delicate spice. Larger, mature leaves pack a spicy punch but can be cooked like mustard greens. Mizuna's flavor is best in cold weather.

Healthy Mizuna grown from our seed

 Pictured: Mizuna (Click for seeds)

  1. Mustard Greens (Osaka Hardy, Ruby Streaks)

    • Mustard greens, like Osaka Hardy and Ruby Streaks, are a great addition to an early-spring hoop house. They'll add a great kick to your winter salads and are quick-to-mature, with baby greens ready around 20 days, and mature leaves ready around 40 days. Flavor is best in cold weather.

Mustard Greens growing in our hoophouse.

 Pictured: Osaka Hardy Mustard Greens (Click for seeds)

  1. Russian Hunger Gap Kale

    • An all-time farm favorite! An extremely tender kale, Russian Hunger Gap is sweet and tender for baby-salad greens. Once the leaves are big and mature they remain tender and delectable. One of the fastest-growing kales, Russian Hunger Gap is perfect for winter growing.

Russian Hunger Gap Kale displaying beautiful purple color

 Pictured: Russian Hunger Gap Kale (Click for seeds)

  1. Lettuce (Grand Rapids, Jazzy Leaf)

    • Grand Rapids and Jazzy Leaf lettuce are two cold-hardy varieties that we have planted again and again in our hoop house to keep it green even during the cold months. Make sure you choose cold-hardy lettuce varieties if you're looking to plant in your hoop house in early Spring.

Jazzy Leaf growing well in our spring hoophouse

 Pictured: Jazzy Leaf Lettuce (Click for seeds)

  1. Spring Radishes (French Breakfast & Cherry Belle)

    • Radishes grow super fast - ready in as little as 25 days! Seeing these pearly pink roots pop out of the ground is the perfect cure for late winter blues. Be sure to choose Spring radish varieties, like Cherry Belle or French Breakfast.

Delicious looking bunch of French Breakfast radishes

Pictured: French Breakfast Radishes (Click for seeds)

Bok Choy

    • When small, Bok Choy is edible and delicious raw. Mature plants are perfect for stir-fries - braise it just enough to cook it while maintaining a nice crunch. Bok Choy can be preserved by fermentation or blanching and freezing. The variety we offer, Luck Dragon, is a "baby" bok choy.

Lucky Dragon Bok Choi freshly harvested

Pictured: Luck Dragon Baby Bok Choy (Click for seeds)


Download a PDF of this guide HERE.