Hoophouse Planting — First Carrot Crop of 2013


After last week’s nearly three foot dump of snow, and this weekend’s additional 4 inches, Spring seems just a rumor. DSC_0397

But not inside the hoophouse, where it reached a high of 90.6, stayed there for almost an hour and then began to drop. DSC_0398

Earlier, the beds in half the hoophouse had been turned over with the broadfork. This day, we raked out clumps of dirt and roots and smoothed the beds to prepare… DSC_0401

The hoppers of the six-row seeder were filled with pelleted seed…

DSC_0405The beds must be fairly smooth for the seeder to operate correctly. We use a short handle on the seeder that helps avoid any damage to the hoophouse walls.


A small amount of moisture is added to the planted beds.DSC_0432As the sun begins to go down, the temperature drops rapidly, but the humidity has risen.  This is good!

DSC_0429We hurry to cover it all with a layer of black plastic. This keeps in the moisture, and helps promote even germination.DSC_0435

We install hoops over the two rows, topped with a layer of agricultural fabric. Each layer gives the advantage of a zone further south of added warmth. Since the hoophouse is unheated, this is necessary for successful germination. The carrots will come up anywhere from two to three weeks. Once they’re up, the black plastic will be removed, and we will plant a second succession of carrots. By the time we move this hoophouse in April, there will be two well-established crops for harvesting well into July!



Filed under CSA Shares, Four Season Gardening, Greenhouse, Planting, Spring, Uncategorized

8 responses to “Hoophouse Planting — First Carrot Crop of 2013

  1. Eric Waleryszak

    Impressive! Even though we have had some cold weather lately ,when it is not windy and not cloudy ,the sun is beginning to gradually be much stronger. Years ago when we used to play hockey on our Drinkwater Road pond ,February meant the end of our outside hockey games as the sun would melt any leaves that had frozei into the ice. A 40 degree day meant no hockey that night as the ice was too soft!

  2. maggiemehaffey

    I remember those days Ric, and probably even caught a skate on one or two and of those melted leafs trying to skate on that soft ice! The daylength is now 10 hours and 47 minutes, lengthening from 10 hours and one minute on the first of February. Once we reach 10 hours of sunlight, we can start the planting!

  3. keith selner / Side Yard Farm

    what zone are you fgarming in i just baught a 20 x120 comercial hoops house isnt up yet waiting for ther snow to clear we farm in zone 4 you can find us on fb at side yard farm this will be our 1st year at comercial farming a freind of mine has 5 acres that we are going to produce on

    • maggiemehaffey

      Hi Keith, We are in zone 6b. I found you on FB. You are in Idaho? I have family in Boise and Hayden. Good luck with your new venture!

  4. fantastic .. look at that, another new crop started. You are a clever and very energetic bunch! I love that you all work together.. hope you are well maggie! You kust feel so much better now that there is a little more sun, even though you still cannot see the ground!! c

    • maggiemehaffey

      And its raining tonight, so the ground will soon be seen! It does feel better now that the day are getting longer…You know better than most how it feels as the day grow longer. I know that you are feeding lambs and working way harder than I am right now! You too, are an energetic bunch!

  5. This makes me wish I had the plastic on my new hoophouse right now. Did I read that the hoophouse will move in April? Is it built on skids?

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