And Then There Were Two (Greenhouses)

| 6/12/2012 8:30:22 AM

Tags: organic gardening, CSA, raised beds, DIY greenhouses, Cam Mather,

Part of my goal in running a CSA that will supply a dozen families with produce over the summer is to extend my growing season. In terms of extending the season at the beginning I got off to a slow start, because I didn’t get my greenhouse built in time. But I plan on coming on strong this fall after I got my first (glass patio door) greenhouse built.

Then I started thinking about the raised beds in the barn foundation. They have always been a great place for heat loving vegetables (peppers, eggplants and tomatoes). In the past I’ve had two problems with these gardens.


My first problem was moisture. Since they are raised beds, sitting on the concrete floor of the old barn, they tended to dry out fairly quickly Also, the soil always ended up with a hill in the middle and water tended to run to the sides whenever I watered.

The second problem was our pesky early frosts here. We’ll often get a frost in September that will kill a lot of stuff. Then we may go another month before our next frost hits. This drives me nuts. I just knew that if I could protect the plants from the first frost, they’d keep producing for the rest of the frost-free month, but I had no convenient way to protect them.

So last fall when I borrowed Heidi and Gary’s backhoe, I started moving soil from outside of the barn foundation into the raised bed area. As always it was a crap load of work, because the bucket wouldn’t fit through the door. So I had to shovel it by hand into the area between the two raised beds. I decided if I was going to cover this area I might as well optimize how much garden space I was protecting. This also meant that I’d have more soil in the one garden and a more level surface to allow water to be absorbed and not run off so much.

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