The mild winter and the early warm temperatures have me chomping at the bit to get in the garden, play in the dirt, and watch beautiful and delicious thing to emerge from it. My mouth is watering in anticipation of fresh, straight from the garden fruits and veggies.
We are almost to the early garden season, but in the meantime I am biding my time with some preseason growing.
This winter I experimented a little with growing in a hoop house. It was a very simple set up. Our existing raised beds are made from cinder block. We cut conduit to create an arch from one side of the bed to the other. Then covered it with heavy row covers. I'd call the experiment moderately successful.
One problem was I started too late. I didn't plant the beds until mid October. The plants were still tiny when the cold set in. Cool weather plants will survive the cold when protected, but they don't grow. If I had used plastic sheeting instead of the heavy row cover, the houses may have held enough heat for the plants to grow, especially considering the mild winter we had.
We didn't eat a thing out of them all winter, but the plants did survive. The above picture is the spinach. With the warmer temperatures recently, the plants have started to grow again. I also planted some leaf lettuce under the protection of the hoop house.
But the growing doesn't stop there.
I keep reading how you can regrow from the stumps of celery and lettuces. I decided to try it.
I cut the bottom off the celery and stuck it in a small bowl of water. Lo and behold, it grew! Funny thing though, no roots grew. So, I just stuck in some moist soil, and it kept on growing. I have a few of these going, and a couple head of lettuce too. We'll see what happens.
I finally got some seeds going too. I meant to start the herbs awhile back, but.... oh I have lots of excuses. But now, and yes, that is a bathtub you see, the herbs and some head lettuces have been started. If I plant any spring cabbage or broccoli, (I normally do better with those in the fall.) I will be buying plants. Next week, I'll get the tomato and pepper seeds going.
Spring and gardening season will be here soon enough. For now, I'll enjoying the planning, the anticipation, and a little preseason growing.