Mini Greenhouse Experiment

I bought Four-Season Harvest a few years ago hoping it would tell me how to have tomatoes in January. It doesn’t, but the author, Eliot Coleman, writes about growing greens in inexpensive hoop houses- basically PVC pipes covered in plastic sheets. So, I decided to plant a fall garden, with spinach, and mesclun greens, and kohlrabi, and they have looked lovely all fall. I didn’t put the plastic on, and few light snows didn’t faze them, when the snow melted, they bounced right back. We went away for Thanksgiving, and the weather prediction was for temps in the 20’s, and high winds. I put the plastic on, tucking it in, weighting it down with bricks and stones. Wasn’t enough, of course- I should have used duct tape… When we got back from Nebraska late last night, the plastic hadn’t blown all the way to Denver, but it had gotten loose, and the greens are fried. I’m sure the spinach, at least, will come back from the roots, but not until spring. The parsley looks undamaged, and the garlic will just hunker down and sprout again next spring. So, the lesson for me is to be more careful with attaching the plastic. I don’t think the problem was going out of town- I am pretty sure if I had seen and heard the plastic flapping around in 40 mile per hour winds, I would have just stayed inside and watched it.

Lows in the twenties make me feel like this, too.

I paid probably $10 for the PVC and a plastic dropcloth. Should have used staples and duct tape, too, though.


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