Rosey the Riveter

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Hoop House!

(photo from

A few days ago, while we were eating dinner on the deck, I noticed little yellow dots on my cabbage seedlings.  Immediately, I knew what they were.  Imported Cabbage Worm Eggs.

(photo from

I've been seeing the butterflies for a few days, so I shouldn't have been surprised.  But these seedlings were little, so I wasn't expecting the butterflies would even find them.  How are they so smart?

I immediately hopped up and went to the garden to check the cabbage and broccoli seedlings I'd already transplanted.  Sure enough, almost every one had at least 2 eggs!  I battled the worms in the fall and decided to declare an early war.

I knew that at some point, I wanted to build a hoop house for next winter.  This was an extraordinarily mild winter, and I would have planted lettuce and carrots and even more broccoli and cabbage had I known how warm it was going to be.  Then it occurred to me that I *COULD* harvest these crops during the winter if I built a hoop house using greenhouse plastic.

So, back to the cabbage butterflies...  I figured it was a good time to put the hoops in and cover with tulle so that the rain and sun can reach the plants, but the butterflies can't.  The 50 yard bolt of 108" tulle is on it's way.  In the mean time, I have the generic remay cloth.

I bought one 10 foot length of 1/2" PVC pipe and had hubby cut it into 6 pieces.  He also cut three 3/4" pipes to 8 feet (the tulle is 9 feet, so this gives me 6" extra on each side to hold it down.)  Each of these pipes were about $1.50 each.

I hammered the short pieces into my raised bed and inserted the 3/4" pipe over it to form a half circle.  Then I attached the remay cloth with jumbo paperclips (12 for $6 at the office supply store.)
For now, this is what it looks like.  I'll fix it better once the tulle comes.  I love being in the garden and seeing the plants grow, so even though light does get through this cloth, it would never work for me.  The tulle will let me see everything that's going on.  The plants you see on the left are scallions, onions, and garlic.  Then there are 2 squares of peas and a couple of broccoli I just transplanted.

I am really excited about my hoop house, as it will be used for all 4 seasons.  Tulle in warm weather to keep out the birds (who like my bean seeds) and the cabbage butterflies, remay in the fall and late winter to protect against frost, and greenhouse plastic in the winter.  The clips make it very easy to open/close and change the covering.

UPDATE:  Click HERE to see what the hoop house looks like now that the tulle has arrived.

Here are my green beans enjoying it under their covering.

And here's my first tomato (Roma) that I couldn't resist planting, along with 3 sunflowers that were winter-sown and are really doing well.  (Two large rosemary bushes in the background.)

Radishes, peas, lettuce, and carrots are starting to really take off with the nice weather we've been having.
The garlic chives and chives are flourishing, as well!

This is what remains of the monster sage plant I cut way back in the fall, as well as a new thyme cutting from the old, woody plant I took out.  Both look much healthier than the overgrown heap they were in!

This week I'll be planting some more seeds and also potting up some of my winter-sown extra seedlings for a swap I have on the 31st.  There are several plant sales in April I'm looking forward to, as well.  I REALLY want a chocolate mint!!!

1 comment:

  1. Nice!! Im pretty sure Shelly has extra chocolate mint (saw her today) she said she would TRY to make our swap on the 31st. If you want it sooner, give her a shout. She's looking for a few things too. I know beets was one. Anyway.....great article. Ive got TONS of those moths already. They must remember us from last year. Bastids.
    Now Im gonna have to inspect all my sprouts!