This week's 'dig'
Kate at High Altitude Gardening reports a neat thing happening in SLC, UT

You know you're a gardener when...
Blunders with Shoots, Blossoms 'n Roots
Where things either live or die!

Mar 24, 2011

Beautiful Day


Yesterday was a beautiful, sunny and windless day- I finally had a chance to get the G1 tunnel up! Yay!

And that is a smaller tunnel under it- only on one of the 30” beds (another experiment). I can’t get floating row cover just yet so 6 mil plastic will have to do for now, which means venting both on warm days- a pain until I get the Remay.

I ended up making a purlin for this first version- I have a different design in mind that would allow venting to be much easier, but that will be our generation 2- right now I just needed something up, so I used what I had. I also made this big tunnel into a chenille  (Coleman books) by adding cat5 wiring in a zig-zag pattern over the plastic- which sandwiches the plastic between the pvc and the wire. This allows me to just push the plastic up along the pvc easily to vent or work. All I need now are some snap clamps and I found a great site to get some from- Click on their retail outlets link to find a supplier nearest you. In the meantime the wire is holding it down well when we have wind- which we did today.



I still have to tie down the ends, but I wanted to water in some crustacean meal I put on the beds.  The sun was out so it felt like tropical heaven in there! I was so tired by the time I finished that I couldn’t get anything sown.

Today’s weather was nothing like yesterday-snow in the morning (just a tiny bit), cloudy, windy, and cold- toward the evening it calmed enough to get at least something sown- so 5 short rows of Mache went in- not much, but it’s a start! I also took the soil’s temperature under the inner tunnel- 40 degrees already; we’ll see what it is early morning. Now to get a regular temp. gauge in there so I can keep track of that.

I also got our strawberry area ready yesterday. We originally wanted to build some cold frames in this spot as it gets sun first during winter and as the suns gets higher in the sky- we’ll get to those cold frames in the fall possibly. Last year I prepared this area with lasagna type layers so it was easy to get it started- I raked the straw off and added some unfinished compost.


I had to do something with this compost because it was in my tumbler and was too full and heavy for me to turn- layer one.

Over this I added newspaper. Then I mixed up 1/2 composted manure and 1/2 peat, greensand, rock phosphate, and a sprinkling of crustacean meal, watering each layer well. Topped it with the straw and in a while we’ll be able to put the strawberries in.

The lettuce is looking wonderful and a lot bigger than yesterday- they grow so fast!


And lastly, our first crocus in our new home! One thing is for sure living in this climate and starting all over has made me appreciate the little things a lot more :)


I hope your crocus are up and smiling-

Happy gardening,



  • ~~Rhonda

    Looks like you are putting some nice work into your garden. It will pay off! We'd like to have some strawberry beds, too. I'll show DH how nice yours look. Maybe that will inspire him! :) ~~Rhonda

  • Bonnie

    This looks like so much fun! Lucky you!

  • Daphne

    I wish we had crocuses at this house. I'm going to have to put some in this fall. Your garden is looking great.

  • DirtDigger (Tessa)

    Rhonda- Thanks for the encouragement! After the wind today, I really needed it! Yes, definitely make a strawberry bed they are so good home everything else :).

    Bonnie- It was fun! Although I really need a better structure that holds up really well to the wind this year, it was a way to just get things started!

    Daphne- Crocus have to be one of my favorites, such a nice little face to see that tells you spring is on the way! I'm working on it, slow but sure. It is a little daunting starting all over- especially this year!

    Thanks for stopping by everyone- happy spring.

  • Corner Gardener Sue

    Hi Tessa,
    Things look to be shaping up nicely there. Yes, it has been windy here, too. We had a few days warm enough to get a lot of clean up done outside, and a little lettuce and such planted, but now, it's cold again.

    I love your template! Happy spring to you, too.

  • DirtDigger (Tessa)

    Hey Sue,

    Sorry to hear you've had wind too- seems to be going around! Sounds like you've managed to get some things planted- that's great! Thanks- I made my own template- I just hope it's not too bright for people!

  • Patsi

    Loving your green houses and seedlings.

    Hey girl, you know me and Heirloom Tomatoes(my husband)we're in Zone 7a.

    Sorry, guess I haven't been by in a long time.

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