Tuesday, August 31, 2010


You would think that I wouldn't be since the summer growing season is drawing to a close, but ironically, the opposite is true. I'm a bit behind schedule on starting some of my fall and winter veggies and will have to play catch-up all this weekend. Also, the ultra-hot temps of this week (in the 90's) have been stressing a few of my fall seedlings, namely the spinach. So a word of advice to all of my local fall gardeners - water everyday and shade your seedlings with some row cover (properly vented of course)!

In addition to sowing seeds, here are some other items on my to-do list:

- Pull out all cucumber and melon vines (Curse the cucumber beetles!)
- Build a decent composting area
- Clear more bed space for winter veggies
- Clear and add more mulch to the garden paths
- Repair last year's mini hoop houses

Also, I'm considering building what I'm calling a PVC 'low tunnel' (not to be confused with traditional low tunnels). It's a space that will (hopefully) cover six of my growing beds. The tunnel itself will only be about 5 feet tall - high enough to duck into and low enough to withstand our winter winds (again, hopefully). I haven't finalized the design yet in my head but it's getting there. I'm aiming for a late-October installation date.


  1. Thomas - i'm behind on planting fall crops as well...So, you're gonna build a compost system? That's great!

  2. Thomas, judging from how well your winter gardens have done, you would LOVE a low tunnel. I can't imagine life without mine! I have a page on my blog showing the construction process you might find useful.

    And I hear you on the stresssss. I'm already there, what with house project taking too long, and back to school. Ugh.

    Good luck!

  3. Take a deep breath my friend, no stress! I have no doubt that you will get everything accomplished and all will be just fine! I can't put my stuff in either due to the hurricane scheduled to make an appearance here on Friday! After seeing my broccoli seedlings, I'm thinking I should have saved the extra work and direct seeded them, they sprouted in a day and are leggier than they would be if I had just thrown them out there LOL

  4. Breath slowly and deeply and it'll all be fine!
    I've lost some of my crops because of the huge amounts of rain we've had this month, but I'm just making a batch of tomato sauce for the freezer! :)

  5. I got so caught up in tomatoes I forgot about Fall crops entirely! I don't know if there is anything I can still put in, honestly. Your tomatoes are beautiful!

  6. I am aslo behind. Have given up on all but carrots and greens I am afraid. Best of luck tackling your to-do list. mine involve scurrying around for water on empty shelves today. :)

  7. I find my self stressing about weeds, blight, seeds and watering all the time. I think that sometimes we are losing the perspective of what gardening should be: fun and relaxing. Not stressful.
    Take a deep breath, count to ten...

    Good luck with building a low tunnel. It will be a great addition to your winter garden.

  8. This turn to hot weather has our poor fall seedlings confused. It was doing so well when we had 80 temps. Now it's wilting because of the 90 temps. Argh!!

  9. I have a pretty long list of chores to take care ALL the time. One small task at a time will get you there. Good luck with your PVC tunnel, would love to see how you go about it and get some ideas for mine :)

  10. Yes, I just came in from watering and had the same word in mind. I have gotten the fall seeds and plants in, but the flower beds are totally stressed from this crazy, intensely, hot summer we have had. It is just too soon to have to rip things out, cut back and clear out everything, yet all the beds are yelling for it to be done. It is usually done late September or early October. Ugh! And I am still up to my ears in putting up tomatoes, peppers, and pears.

    Not to worry, we will get to it. Your list sounds like quite the undertaking, but I imagine you will get to it all. Have fun on those projects, Thomas.

  11. Well, you can always look on the bright side - if you had started all your fall and winter veggies on time, then you would have more seedlings (than just spinach) that would be stressed out in this heat! I just posted about my fall planting yesterday, and although I have high hopes for my first fall crops, I'm also worried about their viability in this heat that just doesn't seem to want to quit.

    I saw your comment about the cucumber beetle problem on your previous post. Have you come up with any good organic ways to battle them? They were my number one enemy in the garden this summer. They attacked everything from all sorts of cucurbits to beans, tomatoes, peppers, basil, you name it and they were there!

  12. I am totally looking forward to hearing more about your PVC low tunnel. I am toying with a PVC construction project myself. Got some ideas in mind and am saving it for my winter shop project though. I have not finalized my idea yet - but it is the next generation of my horizontal pea trellis system.

  13. thyme2garden - I've heard not so good things about pyrethrin so at this point, I think I'll stick to the yellow sticky traps that they make for cucumber beetles.

  14. I hear you. I was supposed to start some transplants at the beginning of August to plant out last week. It never happened. So I planted seeds instead. I hope they get big enough before the ground freezes.

  15. Apparently we were too early in our Fall planting... We got everything out on schedule but have had way too hot of weather this week; many of the seedlings just kind of went away during the day. The lettuces are no more and the carrots are far fewer than what had sprouted. Other sprouts that are surviving thus far are looking a bit stressed. If it's not the bugs, it's the weather! The trials and tribulations of the gardener...

    I can't wait to see what you come up with for the tunnel you're contemplating!

  16. Hey Thomas,

    check out the hoop house we built for $600 here: http://blog.bolandbol.com/2010/05/12/600-movable-hoop-house-details-pictures-and-cost-analysis/ It may be what you have in mind?

    I just discovered the blog and love it. I like it too that you seem to be in my neighborhood (Middlesex).

    Good luck with those winter veggies. I have minutina, ckale, and claytonia etc going. We got a lot of greens out of our hoop house last winter (the one that flew away, the new one is much better and will stay PUT!).