Friday, December 11, 2009

Good to be Home

garden catalogs
I love coming home, even if it's to bitterly cold weather. For the past couple of days, I was in Tallahassee, Florida for work, which I have to say wasn't nearly as warm as I thought it would be. This weekend will be a busy one for us. Tomorrow, we're off to find ourselves a Christmas tree and some decorations, then off to a holiday party. It's been years since I've had a Christmas tree, and I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that we might not have gotten one this year if it wasn't for Jonathan. (Bah humbug.) I'm looking forward to it though.

I also have to make a run to Home Depot tomorrow before it snows again on Sunday. I was a bit deflated earlier this week to find that a couple metal hoops had buckled and separated from the wood frames they were strapped to on my hoop houses. We had 6-8 inches of very heavy wet snow, which I guess was too much for them to bear. I'm hoping that by attaching a metal or wooden bar across the center of all three metal hoops, there will be enough structural support to keep them from buckling again. Also, I will have to be diligent about sweeping snow off of my hoop houses for the rest of the winter. The plastic, on the other hand, seems very strong. I'm already considering investing in a full-size hoop house next year. I'm just concerned that my mini hoop houses aren't big enough to trap enough heat during the day to really make a difference at night. Tonight's low is expected to be in the teens ( 18 degrees F, not factoring in windchill). I'm a bit nervous to see what my crops will look like tomorrow morning.

Finally, I came home to a couple more gardening catalogs. Hopefully, I will have time to look through them this weekend. I'm particularly interested in perusing through the DripWorks catalog. I know next to nothing about setting up a drip irrigation system for the garden. Hopefully, I will be better versed by this spring.


  1. I hope you find a beautiful tree and have a lot of fun decorating it. I was a little dissappointed to find that the mail did not have any seed catalogs again today - only a few bills and several Christmas cards. I am ready for a bunch of them to show up right now!

  2. My experience was the exact opposite! Last year we put a hoophouse up that covered 4 raised beds, and the pvc hoops on rebar stood beautifully while our plastic shredded in the wind! I don't think there is much that can withstand the constant 35 knot winds we have here on the coast. It did stand until January though, and we found that strings of Christmas lights hung lookely from the hoops low to the plants provided plenty of heat (we used the large glass-bulb variety that get hot -not the LED kind). We also moved one of our compost bins inside the hoophouse for winter which provided more heat. Someday I hope to have an actual greenhouse, but until then I can dream! Have fun hunting for the perfect tree. I still haven't seen even one seed catalog arrive yet... I am going to have to find out what's going on...

  3. I so jealous of your catalogs! I haven't received any! Zip. Nada. I think I will investigate that Dripworks one. It looks interesting.

    I hope you find a lovely tree and have oodles of fun decorating it. I will not have any decorations again this year. Between finishing up my school finals and the fact that neither of my young adult children can come home, it seems like just too much work. But, I do appreciate looking at beautiful trees!

  4. AH! You got your Johnny's catal? I haven't gotten mine yet and I'm about to have a duck. I can't wait!

  5. You caught Tallahassee at a bad moment, and it's even colder today and raining. Earlier in the week daytime temps were in the 70s. We'll see warm again next week.

    Did you happen to pass the Old Capitol building? The landscaping is always interesting.

  6. It was probably all the rain we got on top of the snow that brought it down. Crossbars ought to help a lot.

    I jumped for joy earlier this week when my Fedco catalog arrived. My Johnny's hasn't yet, but I did get their what is new this year email and noticed they had conduit benders to make hoops out of. I think if I did it that would be the way. Of course one person owning it is silly (spend $70 use it once and you have all you need). It would be great for something like a community garden though.

  7. I have to admit that I have not had a tree for years either. A tree is just not practical in this household with the cats and dog. LOL! We usually spend Christmas visiting our families who usually decorate to the max. To us that’s what Christmas is about…enjoying time with family. Oh this Christmas is going to be so much fun for you!

    Sorry your hoop houses are already showing strain. Hopefully the extra supports will help.

  8. Hi Thomas...sounds like a fun weekend for all of you getting the tree..Jonathan will just love it...

    Yesterday I went and had lunch with my neice, Ella Rose and she was so excited to show me their tree..and her little tiny pink one that is in her bedroom...and then her own tree in her playroom with all the handmade ornaments that we make together every year...paper chains, contruction paper cut like trees and topped with a healthy shake of glitter.. and then a few rounds of much fun..

    I got my first garden catalof the other day..Nichols Garden Nursery 2010..the 60th Birthday Catalog..I am saving it for New Years Day..

    Have fun this weekend decorating..

    I'll check back later...

  9. I expect to find you master of the art of irrigation by spring, Thomas!

  10. The seed catalogs are appearing in my mailbox these days also. I think of them as Christmas catalogs!

    Don't feel bad about not doing a tree. I don't have kids so I haven't done a tree in many years - can't be bothered. I prefer to put the effort into a good Christmas dinner! I gave up on the baking thing for the most part also since I tended to eat too much of the goodies myself...

    Dripworks is where I order my 500-foot rolls of 1/4-inch driplines. That's the lines you see snaking through all my vegetable beds. I buy the lines with the emitters spaced every 6 inches. They also carry 1/4-inch vinyl tubing that I like. All the rest of the drip stuff I need is easily found in stores around here.

  11. A break from the weather must have been nice. To bad that the hoop houses did not take the snow pressure well, they looked like they would. This will be the first year the cedar poly tunnel takes snow, I built it in April this year I believe.

    I noticed your commented about the deer tongue lettuce on Daphne's blog. I have lots of seed if you would like some, it is from last year so I will have to do a germination test first. Maybe we could do a swap, you can contact me at

  12. kitsap - Thanks! I'm sure your seed catalogs are on the way.

    Erin - Great idea about the christmas lights! I've never heard of that!

    Lisa - Good luck with finals! You probably shouldn't be looking at seed catalogs right now.

    Ribbit - not only did I get my johnny's catalog....I got 3! I must spend a lot of money with them.

    Nell Jean - my colleague from Tallahassee made fun of me...they said I brought the cold weather with me.

    Grafixmuse- I guess it wouldn't be fun seeing a dog or cat swinging from a tree.

    Daphne - it was definitely the rain...unfortunately it didn't all melt away like it did just south east of us.

    MFK - oh how fun! I hope you had a great time.

    Marie - let's hope so!

    Michelle - good to know. I will have to look for those items in the catalog.

    Dan- we should definitely do a seed swap. I've never mailed anything to canada but how hard can it be?

  13. Sorry about the hoop houses, but it does make me feel better about my coldframe getting destroyed Have fun garden shopping!