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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hoop Houses

There is no celebrity chef at my house - although any are most welcome to visit - but I have one thing in common with Sam Kass at the White House - we've both tried hoop houses around the same time of year. Mine gained me an extra month or so of crops, but they didn't give me the "year round gardening" that is hyped by the USDA. But then again,I didn't put strong sides on mine as they are doing in the White House/USDA video -

So I will try again this spring and this fall. When I started my current vegetable garden 17 years ago, I tried to stagger my harvests, and had complicated planting charts. Somewhere in the rush of life, the garden disintegrated into a plant-it-all-at-once, single harvest vegetable patch. My annual soil enrichment program turned into a bi-annual enrichment. My 27 varieties turned into Big Boy tomato plants from Wal-Mart. But the surge in vegetable gardening interest is inspirational, and once again, I have big plans.

This year I will start all my seeds on time (except those that I just learned should have already been planted). I will start the peas outside at the correct time so they aren't trying to bloom in July. I will put all the compost on each bed, lovingly, before planting, adding my kelp meal and cottonseed meal as I go, along with other composted goodies. I will test my PH. I will stagger my planting dates for continual harvests. I will have hierlooms, open pollinated, organic seeds, and deal with minor infestations the moment they begin. My garden will be beautiful, worthy of its own You Tube stardom.

Yeah, right. Late January dreams.  But I think I'll check if tht old video camera works...

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