When Cabin Fever starts setting in, there is nothing that helps like a fresh salad from a winter garden. This is something i discovered by accident actually.
I was hoping to get one more harvest from the salad barrels through the first freeze and I stuck some tomato cages in the lettuce barrel portions and then I put an inexpensive drum liner over each barrel.
To my total surprise this has kept the lettuce growing through the winter, even when the temps dropped to 14 degrees F. the lettuce has kept going. Some has even started from seed and continues to grow.
The interesting part is that these containers are located in area that is mostly shade so the lettuce will survive the brutal heat, somehow they survive in the cold and shade.
The “mini” greenhouses also seem to hold in moisture very well since the liners fit tightly over the drum portions and have not needed any watering through the winter.
The taste is the treat, in the colder temps the mostly mesclum mix of greens turns many interesting colors from light red to purple even and the taste is amazing.
There are also Mustard Greens, Swiss Chard and Spinach happily growing through the winter. The drum liners are the inexpensive ones from the home center that are used as trash can liners in 55 gallon drums, and they hold up super well in the cold weather. I push the tops into the tomato cages with a small slit in each so they collect water from the snow and water the containers.
For us this is a welcome treat and worth a little time and cold to bring in a fresh salad, already chilled and ready to eat. Another added treat is each leaf is perfect since the bugs and pests left with the first freeze.
Just add you favorite dressing and ingredients for a cabin fever busting salad.