The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Quick hoops protect fall tomatoes

Quick hoop tomatoesWhen I set out my tomatoes in May, I wished I'd started a few more romas.  So I took cuttings from our biggest plants, rooted them in some water, and planted five extras on June 10.

The June plants grew great, but they had barely ripened a single tomato by the first frost warning at the beginning of October.  I hated the idea of losing all of those green tomatoes, so I cut the tomatoes off their stakes, spread them across the ground, and topped them off with a quick hoop.  Since I'd made several quick hoops in the spring and wasn't using them yet for the fall garden, it only took half an hour for the whole protection experiment.

I have to admit that I forgot about those tomatoes.  We had two small frosts and then two more serious frosts that nipped back all of the other tomatoes, and I figured the baskets of ripening fruits in the kitchen were the last of the year.

At least, that's what I thought until Mark came in with armloads of red beauties one evening.  He ended up picking about a quarter of a bushel of ripe or nearly ripe tomatoes off my protected plants, and there are still plenty more finishing up outside.  I guess quick hoops win one more battle over cold frames!

For step by step instructions about building quick hoops, check out my 99 cent ebook.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Cool, nice to see them in action.

I put hoops over the last bunch of beds that I built. I'll cover at least 1 of the beds this weekend, I'm going to use plastic sheeting. I want to extend my salad greens season. I already have my cold frame in the garden, but that only gives me about 8 square feet of garden. If the low hoops work out for me this year, I'll put more than just greens under cover next year.

Comment by Fritz Fri Oct 28 08:55:09 2011
I'm not a big fan of plastic sheeting --- it requires more work since you have to vent it if the days get too warm and have to water underneath. I guess I'm just a lazy gardener. :-)
Comment by anna Fri Oct 28 11:35:31 2011

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