The last two weekends, I built my tomato cloche, completely by myself. I am very pleased with how it turned out. I don't get as much sun as I'd like for my garden, so my tomatoes need all the help they can get. I have always covered them to hold in warmth and prevent blight (rain splashing up from the soil and getting things that cause blight onto the plants). In the past, I have had a wood and PVC frame that I covered with plastic. Try as I might, it just never looked very nice, and the garden is what I see outside my kitchen window. The plastic just kind of ruined the view.
I was determined to build something that was 1) more sturdy, 2) nicer looking, 3) walk-in height, and 4) easily disassembled and reassembled. The roof panels were the costliest part of the project, which prevented me from making one for my peppers, too. Overall, I like how it looks and I think it will serve the tomatoes well. I still have to put the white backing on. After brainstorming with gardening friend, Nicole, she suggested I repurpose white shower curtains. The white backing will reflect light back onto the tomatoes. The shower curtains come tomorrow. I am hoping I can pull them tight and have a clean look.
|I painted the wood on the cloche white to match the picket fence around the garden for a clean, bright look.|
I have transplanted nearly everything I started in my greenhouse. The only things left in the greenhouse are melons, cucumbers, corn, tomatoes, delphiniums, pansies/violas, coleus, and petunias. I hung my hanging shade baskets on the back of the house and planted cosmos and nasturtiums in their pots. I potted up the corn and tomatoes. I always thought that the roots got too crowded and then the pot was too small. That's part of it, but what it's really about is the nutrients being used up, so the plant's growth is stunted. Kind of a duh! moment, but I just read the purple-leaved tomatoes are phosphorus deprived. All mind were purple. I repotted them, and the purple is nearly gone. I readily transplanted the corn, too. In a few weeks, I'll plant everything outside.
|Earlier transplants like the cabbage, beets, and lettuce are thriving, while the direct-sown onions and potatoes are experiencing a growth spurt.|
|I grew shade flowers and transplanted them on the north side of the deck along with some phlox I dug up from an overgrown bed on the southeast slope of our lawn.|
|We had our first garden salad last night, enjoying buttercrunch, and green and red leafed lettuces along with some volunteer mustard and chives.|