15 December 2009

Winter Hoops

Installing these PVC hoops (1/4" diameter, 6 ' long) in my garden beds may be one of the single easiest and cheapest garden projects I've ever done. Just trim and bend. And the end result is protection of these winter greens from the frost.

I think these will also come in handy in the summer when we need to protect the summer veggies from the scorching sun and pesties.

I'm using floating row cover, which you can see rolled up on the edge of the bed in this photo. When it gets cold, the idea is that I will roll the stuff over the hoops and it will make a little warmish retreat for the veggies. The row cover I bought (at Callahan's, because everyone else was out) protects down to 29 degrees, which is largely fine here in Austin. But when we get those crazy colder freezes (oh, I hate you old man winter!), I can double layer it and protect to 26 degrees. If tt gets really really cold, I'll probably pull out the old sheets and throw them over the hoops.

This year, we're trying a new winter protection for the potted citrus too. Instead of a) leaving them out in the cold like last year, or b) moving the heavy bastards into the garage every time it dips below 32 degrees, we are opting for c) put them up against the south facing garage wall and cover them with sheets when needed. The sheets are stapled (for the winter only) on the wall, so we can just drape them over real easy like.


Iris said...

Your hoops look great! I think your citrus covering plan is very smart, too. Did the local forecasters just change tonight's forecast to freezing? Aargh.

Caroline said...

Iris, you scared me! I thought the forecast really had changed. Lee, your hoops look great, and so do your greens! I agree - the hoops are insanely easy to install.

tina said...

i'm liking the hoops! and the citrus trees will be happy too.

Lancashire rose said...

I like your idea for citrus coverage. I usually put inside for the whole winter butI am being really cruel this year and leaving my 6 pots of citrus to the elements. I was gone when we had the big freeze and may have even lost them. 2 were in a more sheltered spot and look better. Time to stop all this molly coddling of my plants!

Kirsten said...

I definitely miss Austin when I read posts like this! Now that I live in a zone 3, growing food year-round is a distant memory. But I'm still going to try to extend the harvest so I'm looking at setting up small hoop houses and some cold frames. I was wondering how you secured your hoops at the base?