Gardening Under Plastic

1/30/2015 - 10:12:09 AM
This post was originally published on December 4, 2012.

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?

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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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