Thinking About Your Winter Garden: What Shelter for My Vegetables?

To optimize harvest times, it is best to grow your vegetables undercover. But which shelter to choose and for which vegetables?

By “shelter” we mean a bell, tunnel, greenhouse, frame or even mini tunnel. These will protect your seedlings and plants during cold periods and temperamental weather. They will also serve as a barrier with the outside and make it possible to avoid, or at least limit, the attacks of certain insects and other small animals: snails, slugs, caterpillars, flies …

Covered cultivation does not necessarily require large investments and is fairly easy to implement even for a beginner gardener. It is really ideal for advancing your cultures!


  • The tunnel (or greenhouse) is generally made of large metal hoops (or wooden, there are multiple solutions!) On which is fixed a flexible film or a tarpaulin.
  • The tunnel will allow a beautiful surface of culture and be profitable for the good development of many vegetables by attenuating the variations of temperatures.

Thus, in winter, crops will be protected from frost and bad weather. In spring, seedlings will rise more easily and in summer, vegetables demanding heat will have time to mature.
What to put in my tunnel greenhouse and at what period for an early yield?

  • From December, the garden cress.
  • From late October to early December, sow your carrots.
  • From mid-January to March for spinach, turnips, radishes to be forced or even potatoes (we really gain early)
  • The greenhouse tunnel allows the installation of tall crops requiring heat such as the feet of tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and even melons …
  • From March install your tomatoes! The tunnel will protect your plants from ambient humidity, dews, rain … and therefore potentially mildew. In addition, inside the greenhouse will create an atmosphere that will heat up very quickly: the tomatoes will, therefore, ripen earlier.

Peas and beans will be as well in the tunnel but beware they like to spread out!


Underframe cultivation allows the soil to warm up faster and allows you to sow:

  • Turnips from mid-January,
  • The salad, the carrots, the radishes, the onions and spinach at the end of February.
  • The parsley (for transplanting later.
  • On the other hand, the frame will not be a suitable shelter for potatoes, peas, beans or shallots because these crops require a lot of space.


  • Easy to assemble and disassemble, the mini tunnel also promotes the growth of small plants. It adapts very well to different types of spaces and moves easily.
  • The mini tunnel protects plants from frost and is perfect, for example, for the cultivation of shallots (from November to February), carrots and lettuces from March!

Greenhouse, mini-greenhouse, tunnels, there are shelters of all shapes and in multiple materials. If you are a handyman, think of recycled materials. In all cases, it is advisable to think carefully about the location of your shelter: it must be protected from strong winds and oriented so as to take advantage of the sun’s rays even during the coldest days.

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