That’s a swing!

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This is the daily fluctuation of the greenhouse’s temperatures now, at least when the days are sunny. (As a point of reference, the high temperature outside the greenhouse was 46*F.) So I am struck by 3.5 thoughts:

1. Wow, at this rate, those salad fixings won’t hold out for long.

2. It’s time to install the vents!

3. The tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant are going to love spending their summer in here. Oh, and the hardy citrus tree, too, destined for the back wall: I think it’ll be quite happy in here.

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Black-seeded Simpson lettuce seedlings, which will probably have to be transplanted outside in April

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12 responses to “That’s a swing!

  1. too exciting!

    I’m trying to figure out where I could even put a small hoop house on my property. Does it have to get all day sun? Hmmm… Is 6-7 hrs enough?

  2. Hmm… hardy citrus eh? What variety do you have planned? I would love to add one to our planned fruit varieties…

  3. Hi Kelly! The more sun the better, but I will bet you’d reap huge rewards with only 6 hours. (Consider the alternative, you know.) Here’s a way to check your sun. Take a look at it around the spring equinox: you can trace your shadow with a hose at 9 and then at 3 and it’ll give you a great gauge when your sun will hit the selected little bit of land.

    Techsamaritan: I am torn! Haven’t made a decision yet at all. I would, of course, like to use the citrus, even if it’s not out-of-hand eating. So the very last ones listed actually appeal to me: the citrange, which is a cross between trifoliate orange and then something more edible (a sweet orange).

  4. Yeah, that 0 F tolerance is pretty tempting… I have to set up a hoop-house or green house first, and I don’t know if it will be this year. :-/

  5. I love your greenhouse … and that nifty thermometer!

    I didn’t realize you could get citrus that’s so cold-tolerant. It would be sooo nice to have some fresh oranges! (or orange-like fruit, at least.)

  6. Hmmm…for the more dense of us, can you explain how to trace a shadow with a hose at 9:00am and 3:00pm? 🙂

  7. Techsamaritan: Well, keep it in mind!

    Meg: Yep, I LOVE that thermometer (thanks, Mom!)

    Ah, sorry, Farmgirl: You would do it twice (get two hoses if you were confused) by draping the hose at the edge of the shadow that falls over your future garden bed. This will show you that, during the most daylight-filled hours of the day, the area between the two hoses would get the most sun. It’s great doing it at spring equinox because it tells you that, half the year, you have more sun in that area than shown, and half the year, you have less! For Kelly, it’s going to help her see if her area has enough sun to make it worth her while to put up a small hoophouse.

  8. Thanks, El…I’ll give that a try with one of my 32 hoses. ; )

    and I’m going to plant my fava beans this weekend because the bed they’re destined for is snow free and the soil is workable! I’m a little too excited about this one, I think.

  9. My hoophouse is getting mighty hot, even with cross ventilation. We were gone for 3 days, and I think the turnips grew about 6″ and the lettuces nearly doubled in size. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to roll the sides up on mine, but haven’t come up with a good plan. The plastic will need to be taken off by April, and the shade cloth will go up by June probably.

    Now that we’re home, I need to get a bunch of stuff planted!

  10. Hi Danielle: Well, we have a roll-up side on one side of our greenhouse (though admittedly it is Yet To Be Installed). It requires a horizontal 2×4 to support it, hung at about 3′-6″ off the ground. I remember the pictures of your greenhouse and know your hoops aren’t as beefy as ours. I think you could build a frame, though, that connects the 2×4 to a 2×6 base that ran along the ground: you’d need vertical 2x4s connecting it every 8-12 feet or so. It would add stability to your hoops, for sure, especially if you did it on both sides! The roll-up side we purchased came with brackets to hold the 2×4 to the hoops but, well, you can get these at any home supply store…they’re electrical conduit holders. Email me if you’d like! I know how hot it can get in there!

  11. El, I just want to tell you I’m soooo jealous of your greenhouse!! I have a tiny growing rack that kinda sorta does a wee bit of what a greenhouse might do, and I… can’t… wait to live somewhere where we can build one!!

  12. Ah, Melinda, yeah, you certainly could grow EVERYTHING year-round if you could build one! I’m limited to only those things that…appreciate the cold.

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