My hoophouse worked! The leeks survived the winter AND there are seedlings inside so take that, Chris, you naysayer. You can say me nay no more!
Ok, he can and will but not about my hoophouse because I was right and it really worked! Part of the credit goes to my favorite garden center, McCord’s; they told me that I could keep it just above freezing in there if I strung a strand of Christmas lights under the plastic, which I did and it looked lovely glowing from beneath the snow on winter evenings. Also, it was awesome because not only were the plants not dying but I was being charmed, as well. Win-Win.
I wish I weren’t so lazy. I’d have one of those gardens that look like something from Pinterest by now if I just put forth a little more effort. Sadly, I don’t care enough to unlazy myself so what I’ve got will have to do. But the exciting news is that what I’ve got is pretty great!
In January, or maybe it was February, I planted some seeds in the hoophouse, cold-tolerant things, hoping they’d come up in March. They did and I started opening one side of the little tent during the day so that the leeks wouldn’t get too hot. One night, I forgot to re-pin all the corners before bedtime and a giant storm rolled in, blew the plastic off, froze all the seedlings and then had the audacity to dump icy snow on top of everything. I was heartbroken and I felt stupid (and lazy) for forgetting to tuck my sproutlings in and accidentally letting them all die. The leeks survived, though, and as they had been the original reason for the hoophouse, the plan was still working.
A couple of weeks ago when I was getting the carrots, onions, and spring peas in the ground, I figured I’d put a row of radishes in the hoophousestrawbale garden since all that extra space was suddenly available what with the murder of seedlings, and all. But the most amazing thing had happened, which I found as I peeled back the plastic: there were things sprouting. Some chard, some something else and cilantro of all things! I went ahead and planted the radishes, removed all the extra mulch and let the sun shine down on my new babies for part of the day. I have since remembered to cover them up again each night.
We’ve had a difficult spring. It was dry and warmish through February and into March but then the cold came. April followed with weekly storms and below-freezing temperatures. I thought gardening time would never come and didn’t even bother to start seeds inside; I figured they’d be too far along by the time I could plant them outdoors and wouldn’t make it. Thankfully, I don’t have to solely rely on seeds. The perennials and bulbs are all busy getting their grow on with the garlic going gangbusters -I think we’ve got 50+ plants out there? The strawberries are back, gleeful and “Yay! This year we’re gonna be BIG!” The herb garden has been greening up since March; we’ve already harvested oregano and Egyptian onions. The mint is ready for picking so mojito season will be early (hooray!) and then there are the flowers. The daffodils made it through the tumult that was April and are sunshiney yellow; there’s even a rogue tulip next door, blooming among the trash and dead trees.
Still, the most important thing this season that my hoophouse worked and I get to tell Chris how amazing I am. Ha ha ha.