Hoop Houses, Year Two

Hoop Houses, Year Two

Here’s the overwintered hoop house. The spring greens I planted a month ago are only now starting to sprout — there are teeny tiny seedlings of spinach, bok choi, and arugula in there among the overwintered scallions. I planted seeds a month ago, but I hadn’t expected another bout of subzero weather.

So today I pulled the plastic off, watered, planted a row of Gai Lan (where I pulled out the kale that finally gave up the ghost) and replaced the plastic. The key to hoop houses, I’ve discovered, is 2-inch binder clips — they’ve held the plastic during even the worst of our Livingston winds.

Behind this bed you can see the other bed I hooped. Today I watered it pretty thoroughly and put up the plastic, figuring I’ll give it a few days to warm the soil before I try to plant anything.

It’s been a long long winter here and we’re all jonesing for some sort of springtime. I ordered seeds last night, and I usually start tomatoes and peppers about March 15. I know spring has to come eventually, but this year it just seems like its taking an awfully long time.

3 thoughts on “Hoop Houses, Year Two

  1. I love them. it’s funny how I see your posts and think for a minute, ‘wait, could you be living in that house on 36th Avenue I ride by every week?’ and then remember, no, Montana. the hoop houses here can do some incredible things with greens; big bountiful bunches of kale by early April, and lettuce into November. I think I’ll try this in my front yard this week in that now-empty spot.

  2. I stumbled on your site today and would love to talk garden with you! Very few gardening blogs actually are in a Zone 4 growing season! Now I will be following you! I live in Colorado and attempt to garden at 8500 feet. I actually do pretty well.

    Thanks for all the links and short season information..learning more each season. I too just got my seeds from Bakers and you have several of the variety that I am trying this year. thanks Marilyn

    1. Hi Marilyn — where are you? My first garden was in Telluride, so I’m pretty familiar with the high-altitude/short season thing. Livingston’s only at about 6000 feet, and we get about 120 days per season instead of 90 — makes a big difference.

      I’ve also had pretty good success with season extenders like simple hoop houses, wall-o-waters for tomatoes, and more plastic over the tomatoes at the end of the season. Sort of wrecks the aesthetics of your garden, but it’s worth it to eat one’s own peppers and tomatoes all winter.

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