Friday, November 19, 2010

Inside the Hoophouse

Inside hoop house
I thought I'd do a quick post on some of the things I have growing in my hoop house right now.

Inside hoop house 2
As you can see, there's not much going on at the moment. At the very least, I need to tidy things up a bit. Hopefully by late February, things will be hopping in here. For the time being, I'm relying on the kale to supply the bulk of our homegrown winter greens. The protective environment of the hoop house should get them through the next few months.

carrot bed
As I'd mentioned before, the carrot bed is a mess! If you look closely, you can see several holes made by voles. I have placed several traps nearby and may construct a five gallon bucket mousetrap this weekend. Pretty soon, the remainder of the carrots will be pulled and the bed will be cleaned up and planted with Asian greens.

After months of doing nothing, the claytonia is starting to produce larger edible leaves. I think I may have a fertility issue with a couple of my beds. I will have to apply a liquid feed this weekend to help compensate for this.

Lettuce and Mizuna
In front is some Winter Density lettuce that needs to be dug up, separated and replanted further apart. I'm not certain as to how well they will fair in here this winter. Last year's lettuce turned incredibly bitter by the end of December. I've read that blanching the leaves under the darkness of say a flower pot can alleviate some of the bitterness. I might just have to give this a try. In the back is mizuna, which I've already started to harvest.

It's turning out to be a good year for mache. Last year's crop never matured because of one vole with a rather voracious appetite. I should be able to harvest a few miniature heads within the next week or two.

Potted carrots
Finally, I'm currently experimenting with growing carrots in pots. I'll try again this upcoming spring. We have rather heavy soil here and so our carrots only turn out perfect about 50 percent of the time. I'm hoping that if I can find the an appropriate variety and get the fertility just right, I'll have a new use for all of the 7 gallon buckets I'd bought for growing potatoes.


  1. I'm really loving your hoop house. It's beautiful. I want to try growing carrots in pots again this upcoming season. I tried one one seedline and it died, I must try again. Yours look great.

  2. It looks like there's a lot going on in your hoop house to me!

    That's a good use for those potato buckets....we both had a bad experience growing potatoes in containers last year.

    Hopefully, your winter lettuce will be a bit sweeter for you this year.

    Do you have a remote thermometer in the hoop house? "The Italian" just got one for the cold frame a couple of days ago. It seems to be working well!

  3. Hi Robin, I do. I got it last winter. What I've noticed is that the temperature differential inside/outside of the hoop house can be HUGE during the day. While it is less at night, I've noticed that the hoop house is most affective on those bitterly cold single digit nights. It never got down below the high teens last year.

  4. So pleased you posted again about the hoop house and I do hope you keep letting your friends on blog know how things progress. Never stop great idea re the carrots. A titch of green envy re the mache and mizuna. These are both new to us and having some success but nothing compared to yours. Thanks for the great photos. Glad you are getting after those voles)))

  5. Lovely! I really wish that I could be an avid gardener. Unfortunately, most of the time when I'm outside I end up chasing my 3 1/2 year old!

    I'm wondering how long you can keep things growing in your hoop house.

    How does it withstand the weather?

  6. I am interested to see which lettuce does best for you this winter, I am still searching for the perfect one too! That hoophouse looks so inviting you should have a little greenhouse cocktail party in there!

  7. Everything looks splendidly healthy Thomas! Your hoophouse has a good amount of production going in it and should be a real blessing by producing fresh greens of some order during the dark days of full on winter.

  8. Not much growing right now? Shoot....I think you have alot! As usual, the photos are beautiful, and I like that homemade mouse trap...

  9. Your greens are so green! What beautiful colors, Thomas.

  10. I am definitely trying that kale next year and the carrots are a good idea as well.

  11. Everything looks great. What variety of kale is that? It's a beautiful plant and I'd like to grow some next year.

  12. Thomas, you have some great things growing. The bright green color is glorious.Glad to meet a fellow gardener. Please visit my garden photos if you'd like to see what is growing in the California desert.

  13. Those kale plants are getting very, very big! I never had mine grow this large.
    Your mache looks so pretty. I am impressed how you sowed it in nice rows. Seeds are so small that I didn't have the patience to do that. I just scattered it around.

  14. I want to try carrots in 5 gallon pots since the voles are keeping my garden beds churned. I'll be interested to see what works for you. The hoop house garden looks great, I hope your lettuce stays sweet this year.

  15. Man, it's starting to look like an arboretum in there !!!