My attempt at a “hoop house.”

Today was a beautiful and productive day.  I got some work-work done, I attended a very informative gardening meeting, and my son and I constructed our “hoop house.”  I guess more accurately it would be our 4×8 raised bed house.  There was just one other thing I wasn’t able to slip in, but I’ll take care of it ASAP.Raised Bed Cover_03-17-09

I’ve seen so many nice, pretty plans on the internet, but this (hopefully) will serve the purpose.  I had a 10-foot 1-inch pipe that I cut into eight pieces.  I cut the pieces on an angle.  I took the eight pieces and pounded them in the ground inside the bed:  four on each side of the 8-foot side of the raised bed.  Then we bent  a 10-foot 1/2-inch PVC  pipe and stuck each end into the 1-inch pipe, four of them.  I then pounded a length of pipe that reached the top of the arch in the middle of the 4-foot side of the raised bed, threaded a length of pipe through the four arches and used L connectors to connect the three pieces together.  (Hope that’s clear).

After we got the PVC pieces together, we then wrapped the frame with plastic.  Here’s the end result…

Finished Raised Bed Cover_03-17-09

Now, if only my boys were as talented as Granny’s and could make me a cute little greenhouse in the garage.

The weather was unbelieveable.  It got up to 70.  Tomorrow it’s supposed to be 20 degrees cooler, so I’m glad we were able to get it finished.

I learned something new at the meeting I want to pass on, but I’ll save it for tomorrow. 

Happy Gardening!!!!

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First Outdoor Planting of 2009

The weather was really nice yesterday, and I took a quick stroll through the yard and decided to pull the last four collard stalks that were still in the ground.  My intention was to throw a sheet of plastic over the bed to warm the soil up a little, but when I pulled the stalks I noticed how workable the ground was.  And since some of the packages for the spring crops say you can plant “as soon as the ground is workable,”  I worked it.

I planted:

  • Carrots_Danvers Half Long
  • Peas_Sugar Snap and Little Marvel
  • Lettuce_French Mesclum Salad Blend
  • Turnips_Seven Tops
  • Onions_Evergreen Long White Bunching

It didn’t take any time at all to get the whole bed planted because the soil was so soft and ready to go.  It was soft enough for me to stick my homemade plant markers made from an old blind a full six inches into the soil without a problem.  Then I threw on a thin layer of my homemade compost.

My organic gardening group advocates a no-till approach.  I keep calling it my group although I hardly post, but they’ve got good information.  The moderator feels if you till, you destroy the soil structure. 

They also advocate cutting plants to the ground and leaving the roots to decay and provide food for the soil organisms.  I’ve got to say I think there’s some validity to that concept.  I left a few carrots in the ground last year…accidentally as I was in denial that winter not only was coming but had came and froze the ground.  When the ground was soft enough, I pulled the carrots and found a lot of worm eggs in the immediate vicinity.  Yes, I now know what worm eggs look like, but that’s for another post.  Here’s a picture of the carrots.  The squirrels must not like carrots because these have been laying here for a couple of weeks without the little buggers messing with them.

03-16-09-3

The next project is to improvise on a cold frame for the bed to help the ground stay as warm as possible.  I remember it snowed on Easter one year, so I’m not that much in denial about possible frosts.

 

Skip to midday today….

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Squirrels…hate ’em.  They must think I’m playing hide and seek with them.  I hide the seeds and they find them.  All right, little squirrels, the battle line has been drawn.  It’s all out war.  Watch out!

Happy Gardening!!!!