Gardening in the ice and snow of Pennsylvania seems impossible until you try it in an unheated hoophouse. 2011 will be my third year of year-round gardening and this blog will be a journal and calendar of planting schedules, successes, failures and hopefully, a bountiful harvest.
FEBRUARY 22 and it’s warm and sunny!The daffodils are 4” high and robins are all over the place!No snow for us this year!I’ve been starting seeds in the house on the warming mat and just the other day transplanted the lettuce starts into the hoophouse.Problem is, it’s so warm that I’ve got to carefully monitor the temps in there.I don’t want to fry the lettuce!These past two weeks I’ve started a few different kinds of tomatoes, some Brussel sprouts, Swiss Chard, spinach, and broccoli.I also planted some seeds into the warm soil in the hoophouse to see just what will come up.Today I put in the Brussel sprouts, broccoli, Swiss Chard, lettuce and even some peas along where the fence is.So at this point the hoophouse is fully planted with no room for anything else.I noticed that the mesclun that I planted in there the other week is sprouting now.Since I’m down to one hoophouse now, I guess that will be it until I move the hoophouse off of the bed for the cold weather crops and put it on the next bed for the tomatoes.That will probably happen the end of March, as per last year.I replanted the Roma tomatoes into larger pots since they had their true leaves and will be doing the other tomatoes in the next week or so once they are large enough.The tomatoes, brussel sprouts, broccoli and spinach starts are all on the sunny windowsill rack with the grow lights on during half the night.The seeds that I have been using are from previous years and are all germinating at probably close to 100%.So, the garden is up and running and I am looking forward to a great gardening year.
Lettuce transplanted in hoophouse
Since we had such a mild winter, the hoophouse looks good and will most likely be usable for next year.The plastic and zippers are still in working order and I am amazed that the hoophouse has survived for as many years as it has considering that I used plastic and zippers from Joann Fabrics.Not bad for a $70 initial investment!