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disappointed and discouraged

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Re: disappointed and discouraged

Post  jbh29 on Sat May 28, 2011 9:23 pm

I'm going to risk being a buttinski, but my heart is going out to you buttaflie, so I'm jumping in with pics of my hoop houses. Hopefully they may give you some ideas and hope...

Last spring (my first year sfg) I struggled most with rain and cold spring weather. (animal pests came later...) But so much wet, and I think the garden just shut down. This year I built these hoop houses as instructed in the book using 1/2 inch pvc. I didn't know how to use my husband's driver so I secured the pipes with duct tape instead. Embarassed Am I embarassed, yes. Does it work, YES! That's what matters. Smile

I mostly wanted to start a few things before my normal planting times, but the covers have been such a fabulous protection against more than just frost (you may not have to worry about frost much at all, I don't know)! Chipmunks are not digging this year like they did last year, I control how much rain touches my babies (I uncover for a nice gentle shower, but batten down the hatches when the monsoons blow through.), our spring has been so cool and cloudy I've mostly left the covers on and the temps inside are usually around 70 or 80 when days here haven't been above 50 and quite often closer to 40. Even with cloudy days and covers on, it seems to get enough light. My transplants all perk up when put in the beds. But when the sun does shine, the cover comes off.

Up until this weekend, I've completely closed the houses every night (using clamps and clothespins and bits of brick and rock to hold down plastic) and only open the ends during the day (like pictured below). With the ends open, it is still about 10 degrees warmer instide than outside, yet there is good airflow. The past few days have been sunny, but still on the cool side. But in my hoop houses it was a balmy 70* even with the ends open.




This shows the beds when uncovered... really I can control the weather with these houses... It never fails, as soon as I have all the beds open and the plastic tucked down so as not to blow up over any babies, a massive cloud bank moves in. If I leave them covered, the sun will shine for hours! No kidding!


This is a closeup of my early Northern Wisconsin garden. It really is much better than last year at this time!


So, please take it from a "second year beginner" - you will learn so much in this your first year, that next year you will feel like a whole new gardener! Hang in there, and enjoy watching the successes - learn from everything else! They will turn into successes next year (or even the next round of replanting). I love you

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Re: disappointed and discouraged

Post  NHGardener on Sat May 28, 2011 11:18 pm

jbh29 - Those are beautiful. Pretty much a makeshift greenhouse. I wish I had a huge greenhouse.

Where do you get that plastic?

And how early are you able to get everything planted with that method?

With our short growing season, I really need to be doing that.

By the way, I don't see any duct tape. Those look pretty to me.

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Re: disappointed and discouraged

Post  Barkie on Sun May 29, 2011 2:30 am

Nice work Jenny, can't see any duct tape just very practical attractive beds.

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Re: disappointed and discouraged

Post  shannon1 on Sun May 29, 2011 3:19 am

@buttaflie143 wrote:Thank you too Shannon and Barkie. I know gardening is unpredictable and challenging, which is probably what drew me to it in the first place. When things grow the feelings of achievement are indescribable, and when I lick this madness the feeling is going to be great. I need to remember that I am not a seasoned gardener and every year is a learning experience, trial and error. I am keeping thorough notes and hopefully the time and effort I have put into my garden will pay off....some day Very Happy .
You will find your notes so valuable in the future. Even seasoned gardeners run into bad luck sometimes. Wink You will get the pay off I am sure. Because it's not easy it will mean that much more.

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Re: disappointed and discouraged

Post  dizzygardener on Sun May 29, 2011 4:14 am

I think everyone is going to have a problem or two. We just have to suffer through and make the most of things.

Ive got three pepper plants that are so poorly im just about ready to give up on them. Ive got one kale plant that simply refused to grow no matter what, so it is coming out. My first zucchini plant has bit the dust, so im starting over there too.

We just have to take our lumps and continue on.

Here's another one for you. BIG hug

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Re: disappointed and discouraged

Post  shannon1 on Sun May 29, 2011 4:48 am

I pulled up a pepper plant early in the season and cast it aside in disgust. My neighbor saved it, repotted it, and cared for it until my TT was built then gave it back. It is doing wonderfuly now. I am guilty of being to rash sometimes. Embarassed If they are not doing well out they go.

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Re: disappointed and discouraged

Post  jbh29 on Sun May 29, 2011 12:09 pm

@NHGardener wrote:jbh29 - Those are beautiful. Pretty much a makeshift greenhouse. I wish I had a huge greenhouse.

Where do you get that plastic?

And how early are you able to get everything planted with that method?

With our short growing season, I really need to be doing that.

By the way, I don't see any duct tape. Those look pretty to me.

Thanks! I have a grand dream of a greenhouse attachment to our house with heat piped into it from our outdoor boiler. Someday...

The plastic is just 4 mil. that I got in a 25' roll at our hardware hank store. I cut that in half and it covers 2 - 8' beds.

I put the first house up about the end of march. I let the soil heat up on several sunny days, stirred the mm around, let that heat up (mm was frozen when I first put the plastic on) and then put peas, lettuce & spinach in around the first week of April. I should've written a date down, but alas, I didn't.
(I sprouted the peas & spinach in vermiculite indoors.)

The nights still got cold in there, same as outside temps, but the ground held enough heat that nothing froze.

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Re: disappointed and discouraged

Post  NHGardener on Sun May 29, 2011 2:52 pm

That's what I'm going to next year - what a great idea. I'm glad to know about the 4 ml. rolls of plastic.

Getting the boxes built and the MM in there is one step. Another step I realized needed a lot of attention was the seedling phase, with the right lighting set up. And now another step is the hoop greenhouse thing to turn our shorter growing seasons into Florida - ha.

I think with one of those really big greenhouses you can grow everything indoors, which is amazing. I don't know that I'd want to do that totally, but it sure would be a controlled environment.

Maybe we could trade our house for a really nice greenhouse, and just live in there - ha! My husband will love that idea...

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Re: disappointed and discouraged

Post  stripesmom on Sun May 29, 2011 3:56 pm

Went to Walmart to get my pictures today. They said they won't be in until Tues. Some day, I got to join this century and get a digital camera. Glad some one was able to post pictures, I feel bad I can't.

Buttaflie, after I saw you posting about your squash problem, I posted a link about brown spots and different kinds of problems you can get with vining plants. The next day, I went out to move my canteloupes out of the garage and noticed the brown spots on them. I guess, if it hadn't been for you posting about your problems you were having, I never would have even noticed that. I looked up a homemade recipe for treating wilt/powdery mildew (1 tsp. baking soda, few drops dish soap-Ivory, 1 qt. water) and used that after picking off all the leaves that looked brown or unhealthy. That left about 3 leaves per plant, lol. I have isolated them from my garden.

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Re: disappointed and discouraged

Post  FarmerValerie on Mon May 30, 2011 9:35 am

Sherry, do you remember the old song, "I never promised you a rose garden", gardening is like life, if you want roses you have to have thorns, and if you want a garden you have to filter through the poo. I had a very bad year last year, bugs, dry spell and a bad back that kept me inside from July till October, and kids that did not care about bugs and watering, I almost gave up for good. But I'm back out there again this year, and headed out there again in a few minutes to pick squash bugs, and squash the yellow cucumber beetles. I feed the squash bugs to my chickens, they love them, and I love to see them pick them apart while fighting over them. If you're a music gal, grab your iPod, or MP3 player and some earphones, and load it with some music that uplifts you, I like to listen to "In The Garden" while out there, and on Sunday mornings, it's bluegrass music, they throw some old timey bluegrass gospel in there. Chalk the bad up to learning experience, focus on the good. It get's hard to keep going at times, and if you ever need help pulling yourself up by your bootstraps again, just holler, we may need your help getting back up one day!

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disappointed and discouraged

Post  sherryeo on Mon May 30, 2011 11:55 am

FarmerValerie,

Points well taken, but I think you accidentally addressed this to me! I checked back and I don't think I ever even replied to this thread!

I've had my ups and downs with row gardening before I started sfgardening and my sfg hasn't always turned out perfectly. My radishes never made bulbs, my Swiss Chard and chives never came up, and my bush snap beans aren't really doing well, but I'm having the time of my life with my sfg. I don't expect even my sfg, as great as I believe the method is, to be trouble free. I may get distressed at times when things don't go the way I like, but I know that there will be a better day coming - especially if I take all of the problems and learn from them. That's just life.

I'm now harvesting zucchini and cucumbers and have lots of tomatoes coming on - so count me a happy sfg camper!!!

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Re: disappointed and discouraged

Post  FarmerValerie on Mon May 30, 2011 1:39 pm

OOPS, MY BAD, sorry!!!

Note to self: more than 1 cup of coffee before puting names in posts. This was for the OP.

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Re: disappointed and discouraged

Post  NHGardener on Mon May 30, 2011 2:06 pm

That's okay Valerie, it was a great post, I took it to heart anyway. Very Happy

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disappointed and discouraged

Post  sherryeo on Mon May 30, 2011 2:56 pm

It was an inspirational post, Valerie, and I, too, enjoyed reading it and think it's great that you try to support everyone on the forum. I very well may need some commiseration at some point in my gardening, probably we all will, but just wanted everyone to know that at present I'm just enjoying my garden and the forum tremendously! Very Happy

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Re: disappointed and discouraged

Post  stripesmom on Tue May 31, 2011 6:23 pm

I promised pictures of my hoops. Some of the pictures are of hoops with sheets on them. I used the sheets for temporary shade cloth as my plants were so little and needed covered immediately. I'm working on getting some netting for bugs and shade both. This also gives you an idea of how big my hoops are. The ones for the 2x8 boxes are two different sizes. I'm experimenting. The pvc in one is 7 ft. long the other the pvc is 5 ft. long. I prefer the smaller hoops. I think this will keep the warmth in better when it's cold. Also, they are much sturdier. We have a lot of wind here. With all the bad weather, strong hoops that will stand up to bad storms are really important to me.







This last picture gives an example of what I used to clip stuff on with. It works great with the 1/2 inch pvc.


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Re: disappointed and discouraged

Post  shannon1 on Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:00 am

Buttaflie I saw your zuc babies things are looking up. cheers

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Re: disappointed and discouraged

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