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Which is more important for leeks/carrots at this time of year, heat or light?

I have 2 growing beds converted to large cold frames (1m x 2m) using polycarbonate green house panels for sides/lids. These increase warmth but decrease light. I remove the lids from May onwards to avoid overheating/drying out. I'm growing leeks and carrots at present, carrots sown/leeks replanted late June/end July. With daytime temperatures now dipping here to 10-15 deg C (Scottish Highlands), should I now put the lids back on? Which is more important for the plants at this stage, heat or light? 


  • tuikowhai34tuikowhai34 Béziers, Herault, FrancePosts: 577
    Now there's a question!!  All plants need light.  But carrots are a root vegetable so they like dark spots.  They don't need heat because they enjoy cooler weather unlike peppers.  My go would be light.
    A good hoeing is worth two waterings.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 64,519
    They can't grow without decent light levels so they can photosynthesise.

    Carrots and leeks are both hardy and traditionally can be harvested throughout the UK winter ... they don't need to be kept warm.  

    I'd keep the lids off unless heavy frosts are forecast, and I'd only put them on then so that the ground doesn't freeze and you can still harvest them.  Digging them out when the ground is frozen solid isn't a lot of fun.
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,122
    I'd say light too. I don't grow leeks, but I've never protected carrots in any way when I've grown them.
    Temps are around the same here @Gordon MacDonald.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 9,774
    Agree with all the above - no need to protect either from cold and give them as much light as possible.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Clear verdict. Thanks all
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