Archive for the ‘greenhouse’ Category

Biggest Cabbage, Currently

My lens cap is in that picture.

This cabbage was direct-seeded outside around last Halloween.  It survived through our mild winter under the hoops, and I worked around it while I was planting other things in this bed this year.

As you can see, the head is about 5 inches wide and almost ready to harvest.  I believe this is a “January King” variety.

Also, here is one of MANY little unhelpful critters I pulled off of this cabbage:

I hope you can excuse the dirty hands and fingernails.  I was gardening. 🙂

Hoop bed growing well

Spring came so crazy early this year that I uncovered my little hoop bed a couple weeks ago. It got watered by the rain and took off growing again. So far the plants don’t show signs of going to seed despite two weeks of high spring temperatures. The spinach, cilantro, kale and cabbage–that were planted (I believe) in October last year–are growing quickly for me.

Time to eat some spinach!!

Excrement and Memories

And the people would eat up all the food, gobble, gobble, yum, yum, and it would become nothing but excrement and memories. What then…?
     -Vonnegut in Galápagos


There isn’t much growing outdoors in my part of the world right now. We’ll harvest a few more salads from the hoop bed, but I’m sure glad for the canning pantry right about now

Book Giveaway: The Urban Homestead, Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City

A family in Pasadena has decided to trademark the term “Urban Homesteading” and several other common phrases. To that end, they have sent out cease and desist letters to many people and organizations tell them that they must only use these phrases IN ALL CAPS WITH (R) a trademark symbol at the end.  They have even tried to stop Google from linking to this book:

I really feel bad for the authors of this book, who have their own blog. They did nothing wrong, but got caught up in a legal battle by these selfish folks in California.

I would like to do my part to support those who are opposed to this land-grab that violates the very rules of the trademarking process. (Trademark law should not be used to “deprive commercial speakers of the ordinary utility of descriptive words.”)

If you would like to be entered into a drawing to receive a copy of this book, please just leave a comment on this post.  I’ll take entries until March 5th and hold a drawing to select the winner shortly thereafter.

If you would, please join the Urban Home-Steading(s) community on Facebook and/or follow the #DumpTheDervaeses hashtag on Twitter to keep up with today’s Urban Homesteaders Day of Action.

Greenhouse Update (Ooh Baby It’s Cold Outside) – Late November 2010

Temperatures were forecast (at one point) to be in the teens overnight this week. They have since been revised upwards a bit, but I got my greenhouse heater in place. In this case I am using a string of 100 red, green and white incandescent christmas tree lights. The lights should add a few degrees of warmth inside the dome. Everything seems to be growing pretty well in there, but it was too dark for pictures without a tripod. I took this one with an 8 second exposure zoomed in from my picnic table on the patio.

Inside the little hoop house – November 2010

Things are growing very well in the little hoop house I built over a 4 x 8 foot garden bed.  Here’ s a peek inside.

Unfortunately my arch-nemesii the moles have found there way up under and inside here.  There will be blood.

October garden update – 2010

The one garden bed I have active right now is growing well.  I got out and weeded it yesterday and then put some nice new plastic over it.  I picked all the radishes and had a few of them in my salad last night.  I thinned the carrots and turnips some more and probably should have thinned the lettuce, but I let them fight it out.  I had a couple extra cabbage plants, so I moved them to where the radishes had been.

Right now it’s all tucked in.  I’ll watch the temperature in there while it remains unseasonably warm.  After it cools off for winter I’ll just check it every couple weeks and see if it needs to be watered and then, hopefully, I’ll have solstice salad around Christmas time and some early spring carrots and cabbage.

Cold Frame / Hoop House / Winter Garden – 2010

The things I seeded in the winter garden bed are coming up nicely. I thinned the radishes and it’s time to thin the turnips. I’m pretty excited about seeing new life this late in the season!

I caught this pair of mourning doves hanging out there one morning, probably finding a few of my seeds.

Hoop house for fall and winter

This year we’re going to try a different approach to the greenhouse idea.

I added a PVC hoop house to this 4 x 8 foot bed last weekend.  Well, everything except the plastic cover…it’s too soon for that.

I bought 6 pieces of half-inch PVC pipe and 2 pieces of the size that was big enough to let half-inch pipe slip inside itself…I think they are 1 inch.

I cut and drove sections the bigger pipes into the ground as holders for the hoops. The flimsy half-inch pipe was easy to bend over and insert into the pipes in the ground. I screwed up a top ridge pole and then ran a screw through each leg into the frame of the bed.

I added a bunch of rich black compost and then seeded some fall/winter crops.  I’m going to try carrots, turnips, beets, radishes, kale, lettuce, spinach and maybe a couple other things.

God bless cordless drills. I hate running drop cords.

I hurt my left hand somehow while using the 8 pound sledge hammer to drive the pipes into the ground. I didn’t even notice anything until hours later, but now my left thumb is almost useless. It’s strange to drive to work, go to make a left turn, and remember that I have to use my right hand to do it.

Oh, the flowers got transplanted into pots up by the house. S. helped me quite a bit with the work, but I didn’t end up with any pictures of him this time.

Hardening off the broccoli

Blurry camera phone picture:

Here are 63 broccoli young’ins, inside the plastic greenhouse shelf thing that R. gave me for Christmas in late 2008. Unfortunately the cloth used in the zipper has badly deteriorated after only six months outside last summer, so this will probably be the last year I can use this as a greenhouse. I spent an hour or so last night potting up another 36 seedlings.

The whole unit is resting in the shade of my back porch awning while the plants get used to the daily temperature swings outdoors for a little while. When I do finally move them to the sun I need to make sure they don’t get TOO hot by checking on them at noon every day. A bright sunny day could have temperatures inside the plastic building up to 100+, followed by nightly lows in the high 20s (F). The plants probably wouldn’t appreciate such extremes.

Tonight’s low is forecast to be 24 degrees, so I’ll put a few gallon jugs of warm/hot water in there with the plants and zip them up tight.  I might even give them a blanket for the night.

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