Even as we’re finishing up preparing the last of our raised beds, most of the beds in the hoop house have plenty going on. In addition to lettuces, spinach, kale, collard greens, swiss chard in one bed, we’re also starting to see our cucumber and bean seeds sprout.
Typically tomatoes are not planted in the soil until after the last frost date has past (last week of April for our region), but between the advantages of raised bed farming (soil temperatures don’t get quite as cold) and our ability to limit frosty temperatures with the hoop house and row covers, we felt pretty safe getting our tomatoes in early this year.
One of the biggest challenges of hoop house gardening is water. We’re still figuring out a sustainable way harvest and reuse our rainwater with the hoop house since we no longer can rely on the occasional rainstorm to supplement our daily watering. However, to make our watering as efficient as possible, we’ve invested in a Dripworks drip irrigation system. This allows us to place emitters right next to our plants and be sure that they are getting water right at the roots. A handy programmable timer lets us water the beds several times per day without even having to be home!
One of the other exciting things we’re looking forward to is the arrival of our chickens in the coming days. We’ve nearly got their coop finished and will soon be enjoying fresh eggs!
Check back with us soon for upcoming work days and our first outdoor concerts!