Yes, Of the Same, Again

The garden, that is.

DH and I worked on the backyard the entire day: grading it with sifted soil, evening it out, then adding 1 to 2 inches of our composted cow manure. We still have about 1/3 to do, and I’ll try to finish that by my lonesome tomorrow, because DH needs to go into work. Then we sow the grass seed and keep our fingers crossed.

The tomato seedlings are getting too big for my setup in the basement. They still fit under the lamps, but (1) they’re shading each other out and (2) they’re holding up my next big seeding.

Now the reason why we have a (movable) hoop house  is to extend the season. The issue is when to move it to its Summer location, where the tomatoes will grow, among other things. In its present, winter location it is no longer in its right place. Witness all the Winter and Spring veggies that are bolting in the 80-90 F heat:

Honestly, these (Mache, Claytonia and Minutina) would have bolted with or without hoop house, and I’m letting them because I want to save the seed.  The spinach, kale, and lettuces are all loving it in there. But anyway, what’s the holdup?

At first we thought we would redesign it, but budgetary issues and the fact that the way it is will do fine for Summer, made us postpone Hoop House 3.0 till Fall. Now we need 6 well-coordinated people, at least, to move the thing. Those people haven’t shown up yet…

Well, in any case, what to do with the tomato seedlings? The temperatures in the hoop house during the day are great  for them, and the light is diffuse, and a recent study shows that the quality of a tomato depends more on heat than on light. However, NOAA predicted a low of 36F. tonight, and a couple more such nights.  So this was the solution – with a nod to One Straw:

This compost bin (inside the hoop house) is going full steam, and I’m hoping it and a row cover will keep my seedlings warm overnight.  We’ll see. It’s quite nerve-wrecking!

Last but not least we had a well-deserved dinner of rib eye steak on the grill: its first firing of the year. We eat meat about 4 times a month, and then it’s always a feast. With that we had homegrown kale and a homegrown salad, all from the hoop house. That thing may be in the wrong place, but it’s still doing what it was made to do: extending our season.

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