Sunday, April 24, 2011

The greenhouse is open for business

We took a gamble and decided to remove the plastic covering from the greenhouse. Deb & I removed the 20' x 28' piece of 3mil plastic and neatly folded it up.  To protect the now exposed ripening strawberries from bird attack, we covered the blue strawberry bin with ultralight row cover.

At the moment of our decision, the weatherman forecasted 45 degrees on that Thursday night. Later, just before dark, the forecast called for 39 degrees.  Mid 30s (without even touching frosty conditions) can kill tomato plants, so Deb & I jumped into action, scavenging the house for any containers that could be used for mini tomato greenhouses (in the back yard/small garden, and at the greenhouse/big garden). About two hours later, we finally rested our heads in bed, knowing our little tomato plants were safe.

Covering up the tomato plants at night

As you can see, we used whatever we had!

Over the weekend, Deb & I stayed at a bed & breakfast in beautiful Loudon county, VA. The county is very much about vegetable and livestock farming. We got a chance to stop by some gorgeous local community gardens and a master gardener demonstration garden.

Art made from old shovelheads
I made three trellises for the climbers, including squash, cucumbers, beans, and melons. They aren't pretty, but I was able to reuse materials that I found on the property. The cukes and other viners are only a couple inches tall, but I can already picture them climbing all over the structures.

In other news, tonight Deb and I planted a wall of garlic cloves around each of our raised beds at the townhouse/small garden. If each clove grows, we should have a barrier of garlic plants surrounding each bed. Garlic smell is said to deter many nuisance insects, so it will be a good test. The idea was suggested to me from the owner of the b&b this weekend.

We have more lettuce than we can eat!  We estimate around 15 pounds of lettuce still remain in the ground at the big garden, and a pound or so at the small garden. There are more greens than we can enjoy as well, so we have decided to take a trip to the Waldorf farmers market on May 7th, assuming I can get off work.

Containers everywhere! Apparently four raised beds, and a 30 x 30 garden wasn't enough for us. We filled every single container we could find with bulk compost/soil mixture and stuck a plant in each. Many of them are full of flowers to attract the polinators. Some are full of food crops. Some are full of both. It was pretty much a random filling and planting by Deb and myself.

This is the coolest water fountain I've ever seen. We found this at a nursery in VA. Don't worry, we didn't buy it.

Here are some photo updates of a few of our plants:
We just transplanted these shoots into a 50 gallon trashcan full of soil

Nasturtiums about to vine

The strawberry bin, just before covering with row cover

Peas have started flowering!!

One of our three white potato plants

Total produce count for the year:

1/4 lb carrot roots
1 head of garlic

lots of  parsley
lots of peppermint
2 trays of wheat grass
1 handfull dill
5.5 lb assorted dark greens
7/8 lb radishes/greens
4 5/8 lb assorted lettuce
1 lb spinach
5/8 lb miner's lettuce
3/16 lb mache (corn salad)
5/8 lb young greens
2 trays micro  greens(grown inside)
1/3 lb arugula
3 asparagus spears

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