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!