Here’s what happened with the “hoop house.”

Nineteen days ago I threw some plastic over some more PVC pipes to make another covered wagon  “hoop house.”  100_0061

It wasn’t the prettiest thing in the neighborhood and I had quite a few “is this chick crazy” looks, but you guys understand.  The weather is finally staying pretty warm and last night was the first night that I kept the cover off.  Everything is coming right along.

The strawberries are fruiting.  These are the Free Cycle strawberries I got last year.  (Sorry for the washed out picture, I just didn’t feel like going out and taking another one).100_0200

The borage is growing.100_0202

I’ve read that they get fairly big needing 12-inch spacing.  And since I have five in one square foot I’m sure I’ll end up transplanting some of them.  The leaves, which taste like cucumbers, can be used in a salad, the flowers are a butterfly attractant, and borage tisane (tea) is good for your mood.  I likes that.

The bush beans are growing (no actual beans yet, though).100_0203

The tomatoes are doing fine .100_0204

A couple of them have flowers starting to come on.100_0227

This is the Egyptian Walking Onions.  Pretty soon onion bulblets will start developing on the top. 100_0205

I got them last year from my aunt and forgot to plant them.  They stayed in a plastic bag outside the whole winter, and when I planted the first bed with the “hoop house” (3-15-09) is when they went in the ground.  They can take a licking and keep on ticking. 

Here’s where I planted a yellow squash and a volunteer potato popped up right next to it.  I haven’t decided which one, if either, I’ll pull.


Here are three lemon cucumbers.  I’ll have to start all over with the pickling cukes because I planted them too early in cold soil and they’re just sitting there.100_0211

The peas are on their way.100_0213

All of that is going on in this one bed (minus the peas).  100_0214

My spinach (front row, second from the left) is growing, but slowly.  All the tomatoes have a globe basil planted in the same square (forgot to take a picture).

I was thinking of harvesting all of the garlic chives since they’ve started flowering, but I threw the petals onto a salad and they’re pretty good.  But this is what really changed my mind…


Whatever it was this little fella was looking for in this garlic chive blossom must have been good to him.  He stayed around long enough for me to take four pictures (with a low batter in the camera, so it took a little longer for me to be able to get to the next shot).

The next few things to do will be to…

  • remove the PVC pipes and put in stakes for the tomatoes
  • figure out where I want to put the watermelon and canteloupe
  • figure out where I want to put the pole beans
  • plant more cucumbers
  • find a better location for the raspberry containers
  • separate the blackberry canes
  • figure out where I want to put the asparagus
  • empty out the big black composter to use to grow sweet potatoes
  • fill up some of the extra pots to grow something edible in them

But…before I can do all that, there are a few work-related things I’ve got to get done, so I’ll be MIA for a few days.

That’s it for now.

Happy Gardening!!!



  1. Dan said,

    May 21, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    Things are looking great! I have been leaving the hoop house open at night to, a little hesitant about it though, over protective parent, ha. The borage does get pretty big and floppy. Really nice plant though, make me realize I need to dig some up that seeded in the garden and plant it with the herbs.

    • gardengoodies said,

      May 22, 2009 at 12:06 am

      I know what you mean, Proud Papa. We haven’t had a day under forty for a while, so hopfully I’m safe. Plus, I want to get the tomatoes staked, and the stakes are too tall to go under the cover.

      This is my first time doing the borage, but the picture on the package was so pretty with all the little blue flowers I couldn’t resist. I’ll probably repot it with some more flowers.

  2. May 21, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    Cheryl, those covered wagons sure work great! Your borage is much bigger than mine, although if the first two hadn’t been attacked by cutworms, they may have been on par with yours. And you have peas…I’m wondering if I’ll ever get peas. I’ve pulled out the growth from a volunteer potato about four times now. I don’t know why I don’t just bury a bunch of garbage every fall and forget about planting a garden. It will all just take care of itself!

    Hurry back!

    • gardengoodies said,

      May 22, 2009 at 12:15 am

      That was a first. Your comment went to the spam folder.

      I’m loving the covered wagon. I haven’t had any cut worms here…yet.

      So far I’ve only found the two potatoes growing, but boy, oh boy, have I been pulling up volunteer tomatoes.

      • May 22, 2009 at 10:34 am

        I like Spam if it’s fried. Mr. H hates it though, so I can’t buy any 😉

        I don’t have a spam folder. I’ve only refused to publish one comment, and that was a guy trying to sell something. Sinfonian has mentioned he gets tons of spam.

        I just found out borage gets really big, and I have four plants in a very small space. Maybe I should put one in a pot near the beans and move the other three!

        • gardengoodies said,

          May 22, 2009 at 12:29 pm

          It did it again. The comment was in the spam folder. It’s strange because they’ve never gone there before. Oh, well.

          Sinfonian gets tons of hits, so he’d get waaay more span than I’d ever get. Most of them have been gibberish, although lately they’ve gotten smarter with stuff like, “Love your blog. That was an interesting topic,” but when you look at the sender, the address is all wrong.

          I actually tasted a piece of the borage and it really does have a cucumber taste, but then you get a bit of a slimy after taste. I sure hope it looks as nice as the picture on the seed packet, though, because it was really pretty.

  3. stefaneener said,

    May 25, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    I know Denise has used those hoops, and I have the capacity to but didn’t seem to think it was useful this year. Now I’m wishing I’d set aside an area just for basil — it languishes in the cold.

    But our weather has been so crazy I’d be out opening and closing hoops every day! Your square feet are so neat! I’ve got to get back on that bandwagon. . .

    Borage is supposed to be beloved of pollinators, so that’s good.

  4. gardengoodies said,

    May 25, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    I got itching to plant something when we had a few warm days in March (that’s the bed with the peas growing in it). I wish I had taken the time to section it off with the string before I planted. I love the square foot approach and preach it to everybody that will listen.

    Our weather still hasn’t calmed down. The cover on the bed with the tomatoes was only left off one night. I’ve been taking it off in the morning and putting it back on in the evenings…a pain, but the results are good enough for me to put for the effort.

    I visited your blog. Gosh, you guys are doing it all: Chickens, bees, gardening, inocculating logs for mushrooms. All I can say is WOW!!

    • stefaneener said,

      May 25, 2009 at 10:08 pm

      That’s one reason it’s good there’s two of us. More to share the load!

  5. Kate said,

    May 26, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    WOW! The crazy covered wagons work! It all looks so great! I’m jealous. Seeing everyone’s healthy plants is kinda bumming me out now. Congrat’s though – it looks sooooo nice. Sniff…sniff…

    • gardengoodies said,

      May 27, 2009 at 3:27 am

      Thanks, Kate. Try not to get too bummed out. Remember how the peas, lettuce and greens got snowed on? They continued to grow anyway. Once things dry out over there, hopefully they’ll pick right back up where they left off. If not, there’s always the garden centers.

  6. May 27, 2009 at 12:43 am

    I like your hoop houses! They look just like my 4×8 bed!

    What beautiful pictures. Your garden looks fantastic!!!!!

  7. gardengoodies said,

    May 27, 2009 at 3:31 am

    My beds are 4×8 too, but hoop house sounds so much fancier than 4×8 raised bed with PVC pipe covered with plastic. You know what they say: A rose is a rose.

    Thanks for the compliment and taking the time to comment.

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