Thursday, December 30, 2010
Ok, I finally caved.. after storm #3 I grabbed the hubby to help me tighten up the winter hoop houses - we did this a few days ago, just before the big snow. I got tired of going up to the garden after each Nor'easter and re-covering the tunnels. He added a strip of wood down the center of two of our tunnels to help stand up against the snow and high winds. It took literally 2 minutes per tunnel. Why didn't I get him to do this in October!!?
Anyway, we used a 1-inch x 2-inch x 8-foot slat from an old A-frame trellis - resourceful gardeners recycle! These tunnels may not be super fancy, but they are inexpensive to build and extremely effective in protecting our winter veggies. We have three types of kale tucked into the tunnel shown in the photo.
The 15-cm of snow that arrived a day or so later, gave the strengthened tunnels their first test - and they passed with flying colours, surviving without any problems at all.. and it was a very heavy, wet snow! The remaining tunnel, which didn't have a centre support was flattened on one end by the weight of the snow.
Here are a few shots after the snow - as you can see, the tunnels look good.. I also have a Kale Kozy to the side of the tunnels.. we just bent two 1/2-inch PVC conduits overtop of a mature kale plant and then covered it with plastic. Super easy and enough protection to keep a kale plant going all winter long..
After the storm passed, I needed to shovel the cold frames.. it only takes a minute if you do it right after a snow.. a few days later, you'll be chipping at ice and snow for a 1/2 hour! If the weather was super cold, I would leave the snow on for a week or so until the cold spell passed.. yet, because it's only a few degrees below zero, I like to remove the snow so that the frames can be warmed by the solar energy.. isn't nature grand?
Anyway, we're just 2 weeks from the final photo shoot of the book - I can't wait!
Happy New Year and all the best for 2011!