Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Quick Hoops

Here I am again after a long absence! I've been doing plenty of farming and homesteading, I've just been too busy to blog about it.

I used some Christmas money to buy row cover material and quick hoop supports from Gardener's Supply Company. We've had a very mild winter, and I decided to try several different experiments with the quick hoops. The first tunnel I set up on January 1st! After reading The Winter Harvest Handbook by Eliot Coleman I decided to try planting ahead of the freeze in the hopes that the seeds would germinate extra-early under the hoops. I planted a test-plot of 10 different cool season veggies. Here's the tunnel 7 weeks later:


And here are my little arugula and corn salad (mache) seedlings:


I've had a couple problems with this tunnel. I took off the plastic cover on a warm day and forgot to put it back on before it snowed, and 4 inches of snow makes the row cover material sag quite a bit! I also am going to think about getting some PVC pipe to make the supports instead of the fiberglass supports I bought from Gardeners Supply. They work well except under the snow load.

My 2nd tunnel I set up on February 2nd:


I transplanted some 4-week-old broccoli, kale, and cabbage plants on February 2nd, and most of them are still alive, although  not really thriving. We did have some temps in the mid teens after this, and part of the tunnel also collapsed under another 4 inch snow. I'll have to see how these are doing in a couple months, but I probably put them out just a little too early.



That's all for now. Thanks for visiting!


This post has been entered in the Garden Life link up at No Ordinary Homestead - check it out!



And I've also linked up to the Homestead Barn Hop!


16 comments:

  1. Good luck with the hoops and covers. Let us know when you serve the first salad. -David Grist, Gardener's Supply

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will! Thanks for your comment and thanks for a great product!

      Delete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I stopped in from the Barn Hop! I am enjoying what you have here/ I will continue to follow. Please stop by my garden blog nd follow as well.

    http://theredeemedgardener.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by Clint!

      Delete
    2. You are welcome! I wish I could learn how to get the buttons to the hops and link ups to appear on the post!

      Delete
    3. Send me an email Clint - amrheinja@gmail.com and maybe I can help you figure out why it's not working for you.

      Delete
  4. So glad you linked up!

    I have Elliot Coleman's 4 Season Harvest which is a great book. Have you read it as well? I'm just wondering how different/similar the two are. He's really got a ton of great insight to share!

    Seems like we're sorta on the same growing seasons. We've been talking about doing some tunnels on our raised beds for the last few years, but we just haven't quite gotten around to that project yet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't read 4 Season Harvest yet but it's on my list - I should look for it through our inter-library loan.

      I think we are on similar growing seasons. I don't know if I mentioned - I spent a summer not far from where you are in 2002 at the Universitat Kaiserslautern. I lived in Michigan at the time and I remember noticing farms over there that seemed to be about a month ahead of Michigan because they were cutting hay in May.

      The end of last summer was a very motivational time for me with the garden between a lot of reading and eating healthier, so I think the quick hoops are the result of my impatience at getting things going this year! I also am gaining a new appreciation for the cool season vegetables, which I had never really planted enough of before even though we eat a lot of them.

      Delete
  5. Hi John! How have your quick hoops and early planting done so far this year? Just starting to get my raised beds constructed and filled, we're getting antsy for it to be officially planting time here!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This weather sure is something, isn't it?! I promise to do an update on my quick hoop beds soon! Most plants survived, even since January 1st, but it's interesting to compare my different plantings and see which are doing best. Right now the hoop covers are off so the plants can enjoy the full sunlight.

      Delete
  6. John,
    You have won the 10 raspberry canes from the giveaway I had last week. Please contact me with your information and I will get them out for you. CONGRATULATIONS!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. Wow, thank you!! I know just where I'll be putting them. Thanks for following the blog...it's great to make new connections in northeast Ohio!

      Delete
  7. Hey John- I was wondering how your garden was going:) Ive got mine mostly planted as of mid may- just waiting for stuff to start sprouting. Did you plant Broccoli and cauliflower this year? I planted mine a few weeks ago, and have one tiny head and not a hint of any on the others. Wondered if your were seeing issues too:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My garden is going pretty good - although I feel behind on a few things. My broccoli that I started from seed in January and put under the row covers in February I've already harvested a fair amount from although it is definitely having a tendancy to bolt because it's gotten so hot. Same with my early planted turnips under the row covers - they decided to bolt in April and May. Broccoli seed that I scattered in March is growing pretty good so we'll see what kind of harvest I get from that. I imagine the hot weather could be affecting yours too.

      Delete