We haven’t had any significant snow since 2008 and it was a real treat to get about 4 – 5 inches of snow on New Year’s Eve. It snowed all day and at least until about 1 am when we were driving home from a party.
Here you can see our adobe oven and hoophouse, but you can’t see the cliffs at all:
I decided to order from High Mowing because they are 100% organic and they also offer bulk seeds, by the ounce or even pound. Since they sell to pros, germination rates should be high. I still order from companies catering to home gardeners and/or offering rare seeds (herbs, natives, medicinals), but I wanted to make sure we have high quality seeds and LOTS of seeds to give away to our friends, neighbors and gardening club members. Continue reading “Our $140 winter seed order from High Mowing”
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.
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.
These beetles were a bit larger than ladybugs and congregated on a pomegranate branch in our hoophouse. I put a little bucket under the branch and they easily fell into it and then I just threw them out. The next day I found another cluster and the largest beetle had a red dot on the back.
Here’s a page with lots of beetle pictures, but I can’t really tell what they are, wish I’d gotten a better picture.
We’ve been SO busy and I just finally posted an update with some pics of the greenhouse salad and berries at the High Desert Gardening Club site: Next gardening club meeting on 2/1/12 at our hoophouse and gardening update
We’ve been screening the rocks out of the native dirt in the new hoophouse in 4′ x 7′ or so sections. We hit caliche about a foot or so down and sprinkle just a little sulfur (nothing else) on the caliche and then spread a 1″ or so layer of needles with some wood chips and leaves. And then we mix our garden soil similar to what we used in the lower garden last spring:
2 five gallon buckets of native dirt
1 large (7 gallon?) bucket of acidic organic mulch
1 large bucket of horse and/or cow manure
1 large bucket of wood chips
We’ll see how that does. So far everything we planted grows quite well. Night temps have been down to the low twenties occasionally, but I don’t think we’ve seen teens since December.
I was very surprised to see the purple broccoli the other day since I didn’t know we had any. In this pic it looks like purple cauliflower, but it’s on a stalk. I suppose we’ll find out when we eat it, probably soon [update: it’s cauliflower] This is a transplant from our raised bed where it got too large:
I didn’t think we’d get much out of this transplant and this is a nice surprise. Hopefully we’ll get lots of broccoli and cauliflower from the new seedlings.
We had also transplanted some cabbage from the raised beds to the hoophouse and planted lettuce and kale seedlings. We already harvested several Munchener beer radishes and have about 40 sqft or more ready to plant more winter veggie seedlings and salads over the next few days.