Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I wonder if i am going to have enough PVC for the number of hoops i need.  I wonder if hubby is going to have a cow if i decide i need more.  He just might if i can't make do with what i've got.
I am pretty sure i won't have enough for the anchor sockets...  I can cut those and find out pretty fast since hubby bought a PVC cutter a while back.  I had forgotten this and planned to use the shoelace saw trick. It works (i have done it many times before) but it makes a mess.  The PVC cutter works just like a pruning shears.  It is much faster too.

I may need sand bags to hold down the Reemay edges, but i won't be sure until i get it all set up.

I  think i decided what to do about hoop clips.  I'm going to get some of the thinner walled PVC and split them up one side, then to protect the Reemay from rough edges, i can cut scraps of polar type fleece into pads to go between the clip and the Reemay covered hoop.   If i leave plenty of extra material around the edges it should cushion any rubbing that the wind will cause.   I have plenty of fleece fabric.

As soon as the little  one gets settled down for her late morning nap i will be out there, trying to finish up the walking rows.  After that, the hard labor will be mostly over. I am very sore from yesterday, but the idea is that i can get this hard stuff done, then rest a few whole days.  I can get some frost resistant things planted this weekend. Like radishes and salsify, kale and onions.  The rest of the rows, like where the corn is going, can be covered in black plastic to speed up the soil heating.

 Some things will need row cover as soon as they are planted.  I keep seeing cabbage butterflies in the yard and while i don't mind picking a few caterpillars out of my broccoli as i am cleaning it for the table, i don't want an infestation.

I also have to decide how i want to measure out the garden in the opposite direction. I where i am trialing so many plants this year and using up old seeds before they go bad, i need to measure carefully to fit them all in but still let them have the right amount of room. But i don't want to go through the tedium of laying the string out in the opposite direction and i know that i will trip over it all anyway.
Maybe i will just make a giant ruler out of a scrap of plywood and use the 100' tape measure. Since i will have the hoops spaced 4' apart that will also be a measurement guide.

I think i will end up with extra space in the melon/squash patch since i charted it out for one plant per hill, but i plan to plant 2 to 3 per hill and won't need half the space i charted. I might be able to put the popping sorghum in there, but that needs as much room as corn....

Also found this while puttering around, looking at more season extenders:
DIY Wall-o-Water
I happen to have a sudden surplus of 2 liter bottles. And suddenly, while wondering where to store them until next year, I saw The Light !
Take six or seven 2 liter bottles. Group them around one in the center so you have a circle of bottles.
Duct tape the group together at half-way up.
Now pull out the center bottle so you have a kind of 'donut'.
Put in the garden over a new tomato transplant. Fill with water from your hose.
Instant Wall-O-Water.
Cost, 10 cents deposit each in Michigan, plus duct tape.
Plants will get some light from through the 2 liter bottles and eventually grow above them.
The heat of the sun will warm the water in the bottles.
Six bottles times two liters is 12 liters.
That's three gallons, roughly.
One BTU is the heat stored in one gallon of water by one degree Farenheit.
If you can store twenty degrees of warmth during the day, that gets you 60 BTU's of heat stored for the cool nights.
Throwing a cap over this setup would conserve that warmth to deter fr*st.
And it's not unreasonable that you could store more heat in the water than that.
Paint the bottles on the North side of the plant black to store more heat. Add a pinch of salt to the water to push the heat storage a bit.
You might get up to 120 BTUs stored in the bottles, ideally.
Enough to last through a 38 degree night. Maybe.

Oh and i just ordered some more seeds from a small grower: Amishland Seeds
She had this odd eggplant that i have seen called "Pumpkin on a Stick"  they are very bitter though edible, but i want them as an ornamental.  I am also getting a super tiny and very early type of watermelon from her called Golden Midget.  I hope she has a quick mail out system. :o)

Housework time....


Faith said...

I've never seen the shoelace trick, what is it?

Here's link you might enjoy.

We have a cutter, but I also miss an old one I used to have, which worked like a copper pipe cutter. It was great for larger pipes. I went looking for it when we were building Michael's parallets, and resorted to the hacksaw until we could get to town and buy a new cutter.

I've seen those bottle setups before but haven't used them myself. I was just rereading one of my gardening books yesterday and I would love to try solar plant cones. I'm sure the material is likely very expensive though. - yup I just checked. Yikes.


icebear said...

you just use a shoe lace to cut the PVC, its used like a hand saw, you have to pick up some speed for it to work and have tension on it all the time because its a friction cutter. but what makes it nicer than a hacksaw is that there isn't any blade to snicker across the PVC and bite your knuckles.
you can actually use any stout thread, garden twine works too. but shoe lace seems to last longer.

Just checked out that link... Wow on that Gazebo... never would have thought of that! So cool!