Greens all year

by Teri Buhl

Last October, I called Ken Kuhn at Grow Y’Own, to order a Raised Bed Hoop Garden.  He installed it in November, complete with starter plants, and promised “greens all winter”.  Everything went great until we had a 5° F night!  We lost some plants, but the lettuce survived and we had greens all winter.

Ken helped us decide where to place the raised bed – near a south facing wall works best.  Several sizes are available to fit your needs – we chose a 4’ x 4’.  When the team arrives to install the raised bed, it includes the following: blocks, wood, hoops, irrigation system, soil, plants, and covers.  You will need to supply a simple heating system, e.g. a light bulb in a clay pot.  Ken’s team is fast – the garden was ready for planting in a few hours!

Ken’s website is:

The frame is assembled first and the hoops are inserted on one side in the left photo.  It’s used as a template for installation to place the blocks.  In the right photo, a trench has been dug for the main irrigation line.

2 – 3 courses of hollow concrete blocks are placed onto a tree root barrier and filled with soil.  The frame is placed on top and also filled with soil before installing the drip lines.

Starter plants are put into the bed, then watered to test the lines and timer.

hoophouse 10

The outer cover is made of a special plastic.  With the summer cover inside, the double barrier holds heat in during cold months.

Note: We used a water-proof livestock lamp housing with an infra-red heat bulb to keep the chill away this winter.

hoophouse 11

The summer cover is made of UV protective cloth with mesh ends for airflow.  It does a great job of keeping the critters out.

hoophouse 12Now we’ll have greens all summer, too!

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