These worked pretty well, but I had to remove them during the days that were warmer with lots of sun. The temperature inside at one point was 92 degrees and that was with the ourside temp reading 37 degrees. Putting the covers on each night before frost and taking them off in the morning before it warmed up was somewhat of a pain, but I did get about a month longer with not freeze damage.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
I decided to try growing it again for the fall and planted the same 3 varieties about the 1st week of September. I figured that I had enough time to pick two or three times before freezing weather. The 1st frost on average is around the 1st of November in this part of Tennessee.
The first frost came I put up plastic covers over the bed and no damage to the lettuce. 2nd frost about a week later, same story.
We are still picking and eating the lettuce. The picture just above this was taken this afternoon 12-12-08. I get surprised by things like this all the time in the garden. Maybe I should know better, but since most of my gardening was in Florida (very little frost or freezing weather) I thought frost and freezing killed everything.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
So, when I decided to grow my own blackberries here in Tennessee, I chose a thornless variety called “Arapahoe”. I ordered 10 plants from Ison’s nursery in GA and thought I would have time to prepare a bed to plant them in before they arrived. But, they were shipped almost immediately after I placed the order and the order arrived about 3 days after I called them. Unfortunately I did not have the bed prepared so I just had to dig some holes in the lawn and plant them anyway since the instructions said to plant as soon after arrival as possible.
This the way they looked right after planting (and this one looked best of all, most were single stems, no branches). I planted all ten bare root plants about 2-3 feet apart and hoped for the best. The buckets are there to cover them during the late freeze we had in April.
After about a month or so the plants started growing and started looking like they might make it after all.
The latest picture was taken after we had 3 or 4 frosts and freezes. You can see how much growth was made in August, September and October.
From what I read, the primocanes that came up this past summer will now be called floricanes and will produce the fruit next year and then must be cut back to the ground. New primocanes will then come up in June/July and produce the fruit for 2010. And on and on (I hope). I am looking forward to picking blackberries and not having to battle the thorns.
Monday, December 8, 2008
His unique idea was the 1 1/2" pvc pipe he used to both anchor the frames to the ground and provide a way to add trellises, flexible pvc pipe for protective tunnels and even electric fencing if needed.
I built the trellises with 2x2’s for the uprights and 1x2’s for the cross bars. And the trellis netting was from Walmart.
The hoops for the tunnels are 1” flexible PVC pipe from Lowe’s (100’ roll).
I haven’t put an electric fence up yet, but if this continues I might. I didn’t know that squirrels ate lettuce!!
Sunday, December 7, 2008
I had limited success and then I read Mel Bartholomew’s Square Foot Gardening and decided to give his method a try.
I built a 4 foot square raised bed as Mel described in his book and planted beans, southern peas and tomatoes. The tomatoes were a success, but the beans and southern peas did not produce very well.
This past spring I built the raised beds pictured below and planted green beans, butter beans, southern peas, cucumbers, okra, peppers (bell and jalapeno) and lettuce. Much better success with the raised beds.
I know I have lots of work to do on how to write and layout a blog, but I hope to be able to post more shortly.