4.1 Greenhouse Production

A Calendar Year

This calendar was informed by Fred Fortier, Uncle Freddy’s Hothouse (zone 5b).


Fred Fortier in one of his greenhouses
“From April 1st to the end of October, I am here every day, there is no day off. You are here, every day. You are here at 8am, and here until 7pm if it’s hot out closing things down.” – Fred Fortier (Uncle Freddy’s Hothouse)

Crops: Tomatoes, cucumbers, melons are the main crops in the greenhouse, and they are inter-planted with root vegetables, flowers (to attract bees), beans, fennel, onions, and garlic.

Planting methods: Use companion planting methods for plant health. You can also inter-plant as part of your Integrated Pest Management plan (e.g. to repel pests and attract insects who will eat your pests), and plant flowers to attract pollinators.

Season: 5b

The critical temperature for plants to survive is 10C, so when the ambient temperature in your greenhouse does not go below that, you can start planting. In a heated hothouse on March 1 start planting seeds, and in an unheated hothouse, on April 1 you can start planting seeds to sell as transplants that are ready to sell in 6 weeks.


  • Order seeds, soil, trays, equipment if necessary


  • Plant seeds in warm location (over 10C), starting with the ones with longer days to maturity starting around March 15
  • Organize indoor supplies, fix any outdoor equipment weather permitting, etc.
  • Greenhouses overheat easily, so make sure that soil stays moist


  • Everything is planted from seed that will be grown in the greenhouse by April 1
  • Water and care for seedlings


  • Once the seedlings are large enough, plant seedlings in the soil in the greenhouse
  • Brassicas can planted in the ground around May 15
  • If any seeds were started in the greenhouse, plant everything outside in the fields


  • Water, weed, maintenance, mulch, thin seedlings if necessary
  • Harvest greens


  • Harvest garlic
  • Water, weed, maintenance, mulch


  • Water, weed, maintenance, mulch
  • Harvest


  • Harvest
  • Every bed is planted with fall rye – no till method, chop it in squares, turn it over then plant into it
Greenhouse in November

Value-Added Opportunities

Growing seedlings for sale in the Spring – Costs include trays, soil, seeds, and transportation

Key Resources



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