a garden workbench

 
 
This is a beautiful brand new bench that a friend of mine has. Her husband just finished building it for her. How lucky!! I love this. She’s already making good use of it.
 

my empty hoop-house is warming up

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In the bright sun and near 60F weather this past weekend, my little hoop-house was heating up. It’s 80F in the picture taken mid-afternoon on Sunday. The vents open automatically at 80, so the temperature doesn’t go above that. I hope I can figure out how to use my hoop-house this year before the end of April, which is when I put seedlings in it last year. Unfortunately, I’m not sure how to get it to retain heat at night. The big open hoop-house is not like my low tunnel,…
 

getting the garden ready for snow

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Last Sunday morning, before the Big Snow Storm hit, I spend a couple hours in my vegetable garden getting things set. My husband removed the plastic outer layer from my winter tunnel and then taped on a cross bar onto the top of the hoops for extra support. I opened up the lower fabric cover to check the greens. I wanted to harvest the heads of lettuce at the edges of the bed. These tend to get chilly and freeze. I picked a nice bucket full. Some pretty heads for…
 

winter bed

 
 
Whenever we get a couple days with night temperatures above freezing I open up my winter bed. It’s not as full as last year since I planted late in the fall, but there are lots of greens coming along. Spinach, lettuce, bok choy, and cabbage. Some overwintered rosemary. I was impressed with my kalettes that didn’t mature last year, but look good now.    
 

hoop greenhouse construction

 
 
We’re building a hoop house today!! It will be 10×12 ft and will go in the backyard, unheated, and should hold lots of seedling trays. It will be a temporary, spring-only structure to give extra space during April and May. Today is a chilly wet day, so we are enjoying this as an garage project for now. We bent the first hoop and it looks good. So far, so good!!
 

newly planted seedlings in winter tunnel

 
 
I planted my seedlings out into my empty winter tunnel last weekend. They look very happy out there. I have a few more to plant out and will set up another smaller tunnel. But I’m waiting until after The Big Storm coming tomorrow.   Everyone is talking about the Storm here. 2 inches of rain and then 5 inches of heavy wet snow are predicted with high winds and power outages. I’m glad I don’t need to worry about the coastal flooding in my area, because that’s supposed to be…
 

mouse traps in the winter tunnel

 
 
  All our snow is gone now. We got a couple inches of rain last night. In one night we went from a foot of snow to almost no snow at all.   I had opened my winter tunnel to the rain and air for the past couple days. The soil looks nice now. Unfortunately, the plants are still mouse-eaten and frost-killed. This morning I pulled all the damaged plants. The mice ate parsley roots, lettuce and spinach stems, and entire chard plants.   My husband was up early this…
 

winter tunnel clean up

 
 
I opened up my winter greens tunnel this afternoon, but it wasn’t a pretty sight. All the romaine lettuce was wilted and rotting. I guess the week of sub-zero temperatures was too cold for it. Plus it looks like a mouse had gotten in. There was a mouse nest and the iceberg lettuce and spinach were eaten and torn up. There were a number of holes chewed in the row cover and pieces of it were in the mouse nest. Arugula, mustard greens, and a rosemary plant looked OK. The…
 
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