Saturday, April 23

In the dirt

An early spring warm-up two weeks ago (on a weekend) was the perfect opportunity to get the garden tilled - perhaps the earliest ever that this has occurred.

Shortly thereafter, 300 onion sets were planted (mostly because I had helpers, who really enjoyed planting). I may have to look into some older 'homesteading' books for long-term storage ideas for onions....braid & hang, I suppose.

Now, we also have approximately 12 pounds of seed potatoes in the ground - some blue fingerlings and general purpose potatoes (early and late).

Today, I put in a few rows of shelling peas, some sugar snap peas, three rows of lettuce, and moved the brassicas out under a net.

Hopefully this nifty pop-up net from Gardener's Supply Company will keep the cabbage moths out of my plants - I had given up on broccoli altogether because those green caterpillars are just a bit nauseating to find in your salad. I bought the short 3' by 3', for a trial. Let's hope it works and I can spend some more on the bigger options.

Initial impressions are decent workmanship - I expect it to last several seasons if I don't abuse it too much. I might need to do some sewing repairs, if the spring steel wears through the binding, though. My biggest complaint at first was the lack of directions to re-fold it - I spent nearly an hour looking like a fool trying to wrestle it back into the pouch. The mfr. does include 9 heavy-gauge wire stakes to hold it down. The mesh is thin and sparse enough to not shade the plants too drastically. I doubt it could be used to warm the plants during a frost, but you could get the row-cover material instead if that were the goal.

Installation was simple - pop open, stake down. The larger models seem to have a zippered entry door, which might make a better plan, but if I were so inclined, it should be straight foreward to stitch a zipper into the top.

The net is home to broccoli, cauliflower, napa cabbage, and brussles sprouts for now. I'll keep you posted on the performance of the net as the season continues.

1 comment:

David said...

Glad to hear you're trying the Pop-Up Net. We have them for frost protection (to 24 degrees F.) and bird protection, too. Let us know how it works for you.
-David Grist, Gardener's Supply