Clear or White Plastic for the Hoop House?

This morning we took off the old torn plastic on the hoop house and replaced it.

hoop house 1

Yes, that is white opaque plastic that you see. The reason I chose this is because of what I read when looking for clear plastic…

 

Clear panels deliver direct light while opaque panels provide diffused light. If you want to buy a greenhouse to germinate seeds and grow starters which will be transplanted outdoors, then a clear covering has the advantage of bringing full, direct light to the starter trays. This warms the soil and encourages germinating seeds to sprout and develop into a vigorous starter plants for transplanting.

If you plan on growing the plants to maturity in your greenhouse, a diffused covering has the advantage of providing even light for balanced foliage growth as well as preventing hot spots within the greenhouse.

While it may seem counter intuitive, diffused light provides superior light for growing plants. Diffused light may appear to be less bright than direct light, but the light that generally produces the most efficient photosynthesis is not visible to the human eye. Diffused light reaches your plants from many angles, so plants do not get ‘leggy’ as they would when competing with each other to grow towards available light. With diffused lighting plants develop a more balanced, compact structure. ~ eartheasy

 

I do not often germinate seeds in our hoop house. There is no way to regulate the temperature as we do not heat or cool it. I do grow kale and parsley and bok choi in the winter, and right now beans are growing…

 

hoop house 2

If you look at the above photo, you will see the sunlight coming through the window and how the white plastic shades the rest of the plants. This might be ideal in the hot summer in our climate. I’m hoping that what I’ve read about diffused light being good for plants is true, because we are stuck with this for at least 4 years. 🙂

Only time will tell if I’ve made a mistake…

 

hoop house 3

I still have netting over the micro greens in the garden. They are all growing and I am beginning to thin them. Next to the compost bucket we have a volunteer “something” growing, but I doubt that it will survive the first freexe…

 

volunteer

OK, that is my update for now…and I will leave you with another painting that should make you smile…

 

Ride 'em (2) ©2014 Karin NaylorRide ’em

You can read about this one on my blog Simply Painting. This is my son who grew up to be a horse trainer. 😉

Living Day by Day…

The daffodils are blooming…

daffodils

The wild turkeys are gobbling up in the trees at night…and we know what that means…

turkey

This particular one kept walking around our yard fluffing out his feathers for days.

The red-tailed chicken hawks are constantly circling in the sky looking for their next meal…

chicken hawk

I’ve been letting my chickens out about 4 o’clock. Seems like the hawks don’t bother them then.

And I have some cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage growing in the hoop house…

hoop house

Tomato seedlings are coming up… planted some fennel seeds… waiting for all the lettuce, peas and spinach to sprout up in the garden.

Living and learning day by day… and counting blessings.

 

 

Instant Fall Garden

Last year I started this blog to journal my experience with a fall garden. This year after all my fall seedlings were eaten up with “little i don’t know whats”, I pretty much gave up…not just pretty much, I totally gave up, and let my hoop house die out…stopped watering…stopped weeding…stopped caring…

So the other day I had a little revival and finally went over and cleaned up the hoop house, and to my surprise there were a few scraggly half dried up tomato plants and one pepper plant still hanging on…

before

I watered all the beds deeply, and if anyone has ever mixed up totally dry dirt with water, you know that you have to mix and mix and mix, and the water has a hard time penetrating. I let it all sit over night and get well absorbed…

My girls picked up some cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, chard, mustard, bok choy and Brussels sprouts plants at the nursery and VOILA! …

after

Instant Fall Garden…For some reason I feel like I’m cheating…

So twice this year I resorted to the nursery for all ready grown plants after my seedlings were eaten up and in the spring when a very late unusual freeze killed all my tomato plants.

fall garden

Now I’m going to dust everything with DE… 🙂

It’s Been a Year…

It’s been a year since I started this blog. What reminded me of this fact was seeing the cicada killers buzzing frantically around my garden trying to scare me, like I blogged about  last August…

gulliver

I think this drawing  looks a lot like me… It especially shows how I feel most of the time when I go outside to do anything…It’s a war zone most of the time…

Here’s me, braid and everything…just like the top pic, except I don’t have any shoes like that 😉  I either wear flip-flops or barn boots depending…

me

And here is the cicada killer that was resting on my basil after trying to scare me this morning…

cicada killer

This one wasn’t the only one. There were about 10 of them. So can you see the resemblance?

So they are back, but so far they have not turned my garden into a mine field, in other words they haven’t started burrowing yet. Here’s a great little video so you can see what they are like…

This year my greatest enemies so far are these sweet looking deer…

deer

Three spotted fawns and one mama have made their home in my gardens. Amazing how cute these creatures are…but how destructive they can be. I think they have delayed both my bean crop and my cucumbers by eating on the new leaves as they were beginning to grow. My solution was to hang CDs and human hair around the garden, and it seems to be working. 🙂

photo3

Comparing last year to this year weather wise…we were having a drought of epic proportions last year and the temperatures were over 100 degrees for 6 weeks. This year we are having the most beautiful summer ever…plenty of rain and cooler temperatures.

Last year I was starting a fall garden. I started this blog as a type of journal to keep track of what worked and what didn’t.

I planted Lavender, only 4 plants survived, but they are still growing strong and I started a couple plants from cuttings…

Lavender

I can’t believe I propagated this lavender from tiny little cuttings…

The Parsley was amazing in the greenhouse, but this year I have none, as it has all gone to seed. I still hope it will reseed itself in that same bed in the greenhouse where it thrived so well.

I need to replace about 6 Asparagus plants that didn’t make it, and actually it would probably be good to make another bed to have enough asparagus to feed our large family. Right now the asparagus bed desperately needs weeding. 😦

asparagus

Basil always does well. This year the basil went in a little late, but I have planted lots of plants so we will be able to make and freeze pesto.

basil

This is the first year ever that I have not had a lot of chigger bites and it could be due to the unusually late freeze we had here in May, the one that killed all my tomato plants, but also made this summer the best ever. We haven’t had a lot of Squash Bugs either, and come to think about it I haven’t seen any Bees…That’s not good…

Last year I began to work out the  Problem in the Greenhouse. Even though I made some progress there is still a lot to be done.

greenhouse

That’s it for today. Hope you all are having a great summer. 72 followers in the past year… who would have thought, and it has been so nice to make friends with you all… I’ve learned so much from you about gardening and raising chickens and I’ve laughed and I’ve cried and I’ve prayed…Hugs to all of you. 🙂

A Little of the First Harvests

Here it is almost June…it is just starting to warm up and get muggy. The weather has really influenced the garden. We are just now harvesting the very first peas…

IMG_7345

Lettuce, parsley, cilantro, spinach, asparagus, peas and radishes…very disappointed in the radishes this year. They usually never fail me, but they are going to seed and not producing, I think it must be the weather….my dwarf Bok Choy did the same thing.

Ever seen red lettuce go to seed?

IMG_7309Or parsley?

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I’m hoping these two will reseed themselves in the same bed. They look so fabulous together…the deep red and the bright green.

Basil seeds sprouting…

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Oh, and lavender…

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I’m really excited about this lavender bush…I’ve had it for 3 years…It survived 2 years of  drought and now it is full of spikes that will blossom.

Moved the potatoes outside the greenhouse…

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Still comparing them to the ones in the row outside…

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The final analysis will be the potatoes, of course.

Eggplant that was transplanted in the greenhouse is finally taking off…

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Love a hint of color amidst all that is green…

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Tomatoes and Potatoes

Went to the nearest family owned greenhouse and bought 30+ tomato plants to replace the ones that froze…

Tomatoes 4 copy

While replacing them in our new tomato bed, I noticed some bermuda grass coming up through all the newspaper and compost and mulch we had generously piled up to suffocate any weeds or grass from growing.  We hadn’t planted the peppers yet, so while Anna was digging she realized the bermuda was thriving under the mulch. After raking back the mulch this is what we saw…

saving tomatoes 2

This method wasn’t working! We decided to put some landscape cloth down and cover it up again with mulch…

saving tomaotes 3

I hope this will work much better!

The most beautiful thing in my garden right now are the potatoes in the big black pots

potato 2

There is no question in my mind that this is the way to grow potatoes. Check out the ones I grew outside in the same soil that I put in the pots…

potato

They are just beginning to come up and some of them had a little freeze damage. It must be the warmth in the greenhouse that makes the difference.