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Gardening Under Plastic

Gardening Under Plastic

I dislike paying $6 for a box of salad greens at the grocery store, even in fall/winter when there is no hope of growing them outside. Or is there?

I have been paging through magazines, books, and blog posts – drooling over pictures of Swiss Chard in the snow, fresh salad greens harvested in December, Turnips and Kale in January – the possibilities are endless. I read about success with gardening under plastic in Wisconsin, and if it can be done in Wisconsin, why not in Pennsylvania?

For my anniversary I asked for a high tunnel, not your everyday anniversary gift but then I’m not really an everyday gift type girl. I was sure my husband would say no, when much to my surprise he agreed. Supplies were finally gathered by Thanksgiving and a few days later my mini high tunnel was born. Many of the supplies were upcycled, a lot of duct tape was used, and many hands. (A high tunnel is basically an unheated greenhouse, offering protection from the elements, but allowing for plants to be grown in the soil.)

I am now the proud mama to a 20′ by 28′ high tunnel. As I planted the first seeds today, the temp inside the high tunnel was near 100 degrees. Who knew I would be able to work in jeans and a tank top in December? Since cold tolerant plants will have the best chance, I planted kale, turnips, bok choi, lettuces, spinach and even nasturtiums. This will be so worth it if I could get flowers this winter from the nasturtiums! Talk about bragging rights.

As my project continues, you can count on additional pictures, in addition to my successes and failures. Wish me luck.

We have a book giveaway – just in time for the holidays! Simply leave a comment on this post for a chance to win “The Edible Front Yard” by Ivette Soler. Comments can be left until Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 8am eastern time. The winner will be announced Saturday evening.

Good luck!

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Deb Stern - June 28, 2020

I’ve never won anything… “BUT” as I often say, “Nothing ventured, Nothing gained!” ….I’m an avid Gardener and love a good challenge! I’d drool over having FRESH Salad fixings in the dreary Winter skies! So “please pick me! PLEASE pick ME!” 😁 Despite my “California address” I live in the Sierra foothills and we do get SNOW! And believe me, I KNOW SNOW! I was born and raised in WISCONSIN! Even as a kid, I poured over Seed Catalogs…. plotting & planning what I’d be planting in MY garden…. if only the snowing would end! My birthday is in February and back then nearly ALWAYS had something garden related… One year I wanted an “Arbor Arch thing” for the entry of my little garden plot so I could grow Wisteria over in order to create what I believed would create a dramatic and beautiful entry to my “magical garden”! – - My Dad built it that Spring…. much to the amazement of this kid of 8 or 9! I didn’t think he’d agree let alone remember that Spring. But one Saturday morning at breakfast Daddy announced that he & I would be going to the lumber yard to get supplies for my "Arbor Arch "! …My “Daddy” passed away when I was 15 years old. I preformed CPR on him until the Paramedics got there, but when they stopped and pronounced, I held him in my arms and whispered in his ear…. I’ll meet you in the garden Daddy… under the Arch. To this day, I often still talk to him …in my garden.

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