Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Whose Idea Was This Anyway?

In preparation for a (hopefully) final spring frost we built hoop houses over the raised beds today at Wolfscratch; where tender lettuces are planted, and arugula and spinach are just beginning to sprout. It was really windy and it took us some time to wrangle the large pieces of plastic into place.  We tried a couple different methods of securing the plastic—we didn’t want to use stakes which would mean punching holes in the lightweight plastic and risk tearing. The first idea was to roll the extra plastic along the sides of the beds around bamboo, which was then to be secured with u-shaped garden stakes. Unfortunately, the first piece of plastic didn’t really have much extra, so we wound up using large pieces of cut wood. This worked well, and we managed to get a few beds done before deciding to give the bamboo another try.

Between the three of us we were able to get a pretty tight roll around the bamboo, but unfortunately the ground was soggy from all the rain and the stakes couldn’t get a strong hold.  We needed bigger stakes, which, luckily, Jamie happened to have on hand.  Then came the idea to use old hose in place of the bamboo as it is smaller and can be more easily staked.  A good idea in theory.  We got two beds done before we realized that the hose was a little too flexible and made getting a tight roll impossible.  These were the only ones to come undone during a good gust of wind.  By this time we were tired of doing and redoing, so we supported the hose with the wood we were using in the beginning.  Oh well, trial and error right?

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