Hoophouse in June

I’m finally getting around to posting the pics taken in June.   I made a HUGE mistake allowing the catnip and Chichiquelite huckleberries to self seed in the hoophouse.  TWICE we’ve cleared all the catnip out and we’ll have to be vigilant.  We transplanted many catnips, Chichiquelite and Sweet Annies along the fences in the lower garden and hopefully they will establish there.
We still have tomatoes in tiny seedling pots because we have no room to plant and what we did plant, was way too late.
So here are a few pictures from mid June and I’ll try to post some current pics soon.

6-14-14-hollyhock-pomegranates
I didn’t expect the hot pink hollyhock to come back this year. It’s a MAGNET for spider mites and it is interfering with the blackberries. We grew the pomegranates from seed and they have yet to bear fruit and maybe never will. So we’re propagating from cuttings now.  Calendula and 4 O’ Clock at the border and a field of catnip in the back.  We transplanted lots of catnip into the outside gardens.  On 8/14/14 we planted lots of lettuce seedlings and we also have some tomatoes growing in this area.

6-14-14-boysenberry
Got this boysenberry in spring at Desert Sage in Kingman and it almost died because we took so long to plant it. It’s making a strong comeback now.

 
6-14-14-chichiquelite
Chichiquelite (huckleberries) — a little bland, but good for smoothies. Self seeds profusely.

6-14-14-dill
Volunteer dill, unfortunately long gone by now, but new volunteers are sprouting.

6-14-14-flower
Can’t remember the name of this flower surrounded by Chichiquelite berries. It made it through the winter with temps down to 4 F.

6-14-14-German-chamomile
German chamomile crowded by Chichiquelite.

6-14-14-hollyhock-blackberries
Outside you can see the 220 gallon water tank for gravity watering. We used to also have pressurized water from the house, but the rats ate the poly pipe. We’ll have to fix that because it really helps with pest control to spray the plants down.

6-14-14-ladybug
A volunteer ladybug. We had quite a few in spring

6-14-14-ladybug-larva
Ladybug larva

6-14-14-marvel-of-peru
Marvel of Peru (4 O’Clock) — we transplanted a couple of smaller ones into the gardens and one really took off. Basil in front of it.

6-14-14-pond
Our little pond in the hoophouse with lilies and some water canna. We used to have a few goldfish, but when a WWOOFer was assigned to watering she forgot the pond.

6-14-14-tomatoes
Volunteer tomatoes, 4 different kinds and not very productive

6-14-14-tomatoe-cluster
Peace vine tomatoes — one of my favorites. We just had a great tomato / Armenian cucumber salad, but they didn’t set much fruit when it was so hot in July. We’re hoping for a nice fall crop.

6-14-14-apricot-tree
Chinese apricot grown from seed. I tried more seeds, but none sprouted. Recently got a new batch of seeds and put them in the fridge for a few weeks, so maybe that’ll help. We’ll also try to propagate from cuttings as they grow very well here.

6-14-14-Armenian-cucumber
Last fall I buried several yellow Armenian cucumbers and I expected many volunteers, but only got one. By now we had a couple of cukes and I pollinated two flowers this morning. Our current white fly infestation isn’t helping.

6-14-14-willow
We got Willow cuttings form our friend Anna in Golden Valley a couple years ago. We stuck them into gallon pots and this one grew so well, it grew right into the ground and will never be moved again.

6-14-14-trees-hoophouse
We bought 60 mimosas, Arizona cypress and black locusts at the Las Vegas State Nursery before Arbor Day. We gave some away at our gardening club meeting and several black locusts are in the upper garden and mimosas in the lower garden. Most of these trees are for Jose’s lot and we’ll plant them in fall after the fencing is done.  On the shelf in the back are strawberries and they are now happy in our raised beds.  On the left is our propagation area for cuttings from various trees and bushes.

 
6-14-14-sunflower
A WWOOFer must have planted the sun flower seeds. In addition to the Chichiquelites we also had many volunteer Sweet Annies. We transplanted them along the fences in the lower garden and hope they’ll flower and reseed there.

6-14-14-pomegranate
Bought this pomegranate from Toni in Golden Valley in 2009 or 2010 and it flowered in his pot. After a year or so we planted it in the upper garden and this is the first time it flowered again. We had almost given up on it. I suppose finally watering it regularly helped. Unfortunately some critter ate most of the pomegranates.

6-14-14-chaste-tree
A chaste tree in the lower garden in full bloom.

 
6-14-14-chaste-tree-flowers
We got the plastic for the hoophouse in October 2011 and it is rated for 4 years.  We were rather skeptical with our high winds, but almost 3 years later it is still holding up quite well.
We plan to move the entire hoophouse to the adjacent area down the hill when the plastic goes bad.  Some of the hoops will just be turned 180 degrees.  While it is as cold inside as outside on cold winter nights, everything grows so much better than outside because it’s not nearly as windy and of course it’s much warmer during the day.
I made a mistake ordering 70% shade cloth last year, but we’ll eventually use that shade cloth for areas where we’re not growing plants, such as our patio, outdoor kitchen, etc. Most likely we’ll go with white plastic covering plus 30% shade cloth next time.
Since we have well established willows, pomegranates, bird of paradise, apricot trees, blackberries and many other perennials to shelter tender annuals, we hope that the hoophouse will turn into a productive garden in a year or so when the plastic wears out.
I’ll try to post some current pics of the hoophouse and gardens soon.  We finally cleared out ALL catnips, Chichiquelite and Sweet Annie and will try to eradicate the white flies that invade every summer by spraying a little neem oil, cayenne pepper and Dr Bronner’s peppermint soap. And maybe we’ll order some more ladybugs.  In spring we got praying mantis eggs, but we have yet to see any praying mantis.
Currently we’re growing many greens and basils with tomatoes and we are hoping for a bountiful fall tomatoe and Armenian cucumber harvest.

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