Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Windy today. Windy yesterday. Looks like it'll be windy tomorrow.

During the night, the wind pulled the cover off the hoophouse again. This is the third time in a month. I took it as a sign that something needed to be done.

I had a 16' 2x6 from my hammock project and the deck rebuild. I also had two 6'-ish lengths that I was using to hold the plastic down. I cut the 16' board into two parts. I also cut the two pieces into 5' lengths. A few nails later, the base of the hoophouse was complete. I pulled up the old rebar and hammered it back into the ground at 25" intervals. Still using 5 "hoops", the new hoophouse is a tad shorter, but much sturdier. I used my staple gun to attach the plastic to three sides. On the fourth side, I attached the plastic to a 2x4 so that I can have access but keep the cold and wind out. The good news is all the plants got watered well with the rain last night.

The previous location. This bed will be for corn, beans, and cucumbers/squash this summer. It's got a soaker hose and 8" of leaf mulch.

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Sealed up tight.

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The 2x4 makes it easier to gain access to add, remove, and water the plants. It'll be helpful in the spring when I need to open it on really warm days.

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Since I had my hands dirty already, I took the opportunity to move some daffodils that were poking through the ground out back. They've naturalized pretty well over the years since they were first planted. Three clumps netted me about 50 bulbs. I scattered them through the perennial bed next to the driveway. A couple even had blooms on them. I've also got blooms in the bed around the oak tree out front. It is only January, right?

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The petunia that just won't die.

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I also potted all the shasta daisies and the three rudbeckia "Autumn Colors" that were in the cold frame. I left the dianthus in there. It's time for them to toughen up a bit for planting out in a couple weeks. They should bloom this year since they were started from seed on October 11.

Shastas and rudbeckia - bottom watering.

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Finally, I wanted to check on the progress of the plants in the homemade cloning machine. In less than 24 hours, the root growth on the pineapple salvia is very visible.

Yesterday at 2:30pm

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Today at 11:17am ready to be potted along with a sister plant.

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The brugmansia also shows some growth. I pruned the roots on that one to force more roots from the tips.

I also wrapped and packaged the fig cuttings from 6th street according to
these directions. I don't know the type, but the figs were brown this fall. I snagged a few on a walk on afternoon. They were delicious. Two weeks later, they were awful.

Alsfig's arrived in the mail this morning. I've wrapped them as well and will put them on the bottom heat bed with the others. These are White Marseilles. They were a favorite of Thomas Jefferson. He wrote about them several times after taking cuttings from France back to Virginia.

Not bad for 2 hours. Once I finish my coffee, reply to a couple emails, and shower, I'll head out to apply for more crappy jobs. This economy sucks.

3:30pm - The wind blew up a cloud. It's pouring. It sounds like the whole town just went nuts. Car alarms, fire trucks, ambulances, etc. The power flashed right after the lightning strike. Mom always says that thunder in winter means snow is coming.

6 comments:

FlowerLady said...

Wow, I am impressed with your hoop house and your cloning machine.

FlowerLady

Tom said...

Thanks. Regardless of what Tony Avent says in his book, I think I can start a small backyard nursery by catering to the gardeners in my town. I'm planning some annuals, perennials, and vegetables for sale in May. I hope to sell the produce I grow too. The hoophouse and cloning machine means I don't have to raise all of it from seed based on the weather.

Ellen Kirby said...

Nice blog; love the how to sections. Good luck on the job.

Sue said...

I thought I had put a comment here, but maybe I put it on a different post. I think I said something about how busy you've been, and I want my husband to make a hoop house like yours. I don't think I'm ambitious enough for your other contraptions.

Tom said...

The hoophouse is easy. Two pieces of rebar for each piece of pipe. The plastic comes in 10' wide sheets. I cut 12" off the pipes to have some extra plastic. Drive the rebar into the ground about 2' apart, slide the pipe over the ends, and cover with plastic. You can use rocks or dirt to hold it down. I had the boards laying here so I used those. I like to recycle and free is good.

Sue said...

Speaking of free being good, do you have Freecycle in your area? I keep forgetting about it, and my Yahoo email is probably way to full for me to ever clean out successfully. I gave some plants away last summer through it, and got some marigold seeds and also thinned out a guy's marigolds to put in my garden. Other than that, it's mostly things I don't need or want, and if I do see something, it tends to be spoken for already.

Thanks for the directions. I need to remember to show my husband.