Monday, June 01, 2015

About that garden thing

Last week was a busy one for gardening. I finally finished the third bed that I've been meaning to make for two years now. And I put up the hoop house. I don't have a place on the property that gets sun in December–January; the sun is too low on the horizon, even an eight foot fence projects a twenty foot shadow for about eight weeks. Kinda hard to get anything to survive, let alone grow, when you don't get any sun! So, this is a bit of a compromise. Debbie didn't like it in the backyard—and I don't blame her; it's 12' x 16' and 7' tall. That pretty much takes up our backyard and blocks any view of the rabbits. So, I put it on the north side of Cedar (the log cabin). It gets excellent sun from about April to the end of September. So, that's where I'll put the warm weather crops like tomatoes, squash, and peppers.

I put up the PVC frame, screwing it to the beds as added stability. We get some pretty strong winds coming down off the ridge; I found that out when I put the one in the backyard 2 years ago. The wind demolished it because I thought the fence would protect it. It didn't! Next I put the plastic over the top and on the west end. The last step was building the doors on the east end. I have three beds inside the house, so I need two doors. They are only 24" doors, so a bit narrow, but I can get tomato cages in and that's what counts.

After building it, I let it sit empty for a few days. Then, on Saturday, I planted 24 tomato plants—3 Roma, 3 Oregon Spring, 3 Cosmonaut Volkov, 6 Glacier, and 9 Beefsteak. The middle three are cold weather tomatoes, in fact Volkov supposedly will set fruit as cold as 39ºF.

I also planted 18 peppers of the bell variety—4 California Wonder, 6 New Ace, and 8 King of the North. The latter two are new to me, but are supposed to do well in northern climates. We'll see! I also planted 4 chile peppers, removed a bit from the others, I don't want all my peppers to be hot : )

Oh, and I planted 5 hills of Delicata in the north bed. I still need to plant cukes and summer squash, but they won't be in the hoop house. I'll cover them with row cover until they flower; that should keep them warm enough to do well.

I also planted 3 cherry tomatoes. Two in a wooden planter on the deck and one in a self-watering container made out of 2 five-gallon buckets (food grade, of course!). Finally, I planted Fortext, Provider, and Scarlet Runner green beans. Oh, and Oregon Giant Snow Peas. Not too shabby a week, no?

All that was done by Saturday afternoon. Just in time for it to freeze Saturday and Sunday nights! But I was ready! I had row cover over the tomatoes and peppers in the hoop house, so they were protected down to about 25ºF and I covered the cherries with old sheets—that's one advantage of the cabins, we always have plenty of old sheets! It only got down to about 30ºF, so everything was fine both nights...

Now, off to clean a couple of cabins, sort the recycle, and put up the Eisenbrauns monthly sale...

Oh, did I mention that we hiked in Judge C.R. Magney, Temperance, Cascade, and Oberg Mountain last week?

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