I'm on the NICE List: Hoop House Present

sunnibel7 Md 7(7)December 7, 2012

Thank you, Santa, I'm getting a 8' x 20' cold frame/ hoop house for Christmas this year! I imagine there may be a couple of chilly days getting it up in my future, and lots to learn about using it best, but I can't wait. Visions of perfect lettuce and early tomatoes (and non-fried brassica seedlings in summer once I get some shade cloth) are already dancing in my head! I hope Santa is good to all of you this year, too! Cheers!

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elisa_z5

Lucky, lucky, lucky :)

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 2:49PM
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glib(5.5)

I am getting manure, a load of it, very fresh. I can't decide if the old man likes me or not.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 4:07PM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

Glib,I don't know, is that a commentary on you or just a sign that he knows you well? ;)

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 4:18PM
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stuffradio

Who do I have to be nice to to get a present like that!?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 12:07PM
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glib(5.5)

the manure or the hoops? I think he don't like me. I have to rent a pickup truck to go get it.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 2:31PM
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defrost49

I have two Eliot Coleman books about season extending methods and high tunnels. He is a market gardener in Maine and grows year round in a cold house. This is my first winter with one. My husband ran into a neighbor who has had one a few years. She said they grew all their tomatos in the high tunnel/cold house last year and had tomatoes by the first of the July ... when the rest of us were still waiting for our peas. I know how excited you are. Happy gardening!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 3:52PM
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defrost49

I have two Eliot Coleman books about season extending methods and high tunnels. He is a market gardener in Maine and grows year round in a cold house. This is my first winter with one. My husband ran into a neighbor who has had one a few years. She said they grew all their tomatos in the high tunnel/cold house last year and had tomatoes by the first of the July ... when the rest of us were still waiting for our peas. I know how excited you are. Happy gardening!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 4:06PM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

Glib, maybe you can ask Santa to station his reindeer in your garden while he does his deliveries in your neigborhood...

Yes, I am excited. Already having too many ideas for one hoop house. I'll probably try part as a cold frame to let me get more seedlings up and out sooner, and part as an inground growing area for earlier crops like extra early greens and turnips, then later tomatoes. Then I have some experimental ideas, like could I grow some bigger broccoli transplants early on in pots sunk in the ground to save on potting soil yet allow me to move them out when the weather permits? I'm a little dizzy...

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 4:38PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

sunnibel,

You are a great gardner. I know that from your many posts. You deserve to have the hoop house. Enjoy!

Jim

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 1:55PM
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glib(5.5)

I would probably plant kale or collards for the winter, manage to finish it in February, then plant tomatoes right away. I did put out tomatoes and eggplants in February this year with great success.

You would probably need many buckets of water for ballast, and a second layer of plastic stretched over the buckets ringing the tomato area. You also need a carbon dioxide emitter. Any one bucket of decomposing organic matter will give off plenty. If you plant them in the ground you can later move the HH to where you may be starting basil, butternut or okra. If planted in pots, you will carry the pots out when it is time.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 3:27PM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

Jim, I got a little tear in my eye when I read your post, thank you! It means a lot to me.

Glib, not sure what you mean by ballast, but it may be clear once the thing arrives, since it comes with instructions. Otherwise I look forward to learning what it means. My first thought was weight, my second was heat.... Interesting about the CO2, but finding stuff to rot is never a challange. Is a little chicken dung in the bucket going to help, or just straight plant matter? I definitely want to do some broccoli, our season here is just a little too short in both spring and fall to get good broccoli and I really like it. Anything that lets me start my tomatoes before mid March is going to be a real leg up.

Yup, still excited....

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 4:49PM
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glib(5.5)

By ballast I meant thermal mass. Last February I made a perimeter of 16 buckets, put the tomato plants in the middle, and sealed well with a single layer of plastic. Inside there was a bucket with leaves and kitchen scraps fermenting away, every now and then I would open it to water it, and stuff grew nicely. It may have gone through 3 freezes in April, without ever getting below 47F or above 80F. There was no hoop house, just the buckets and the plastic. With the hoop house you are probably getting another two zones equivalent. I got my first tom on June 17 (first ever), and by July 8 we were swamped with toms.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 9:39PM
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