Monday, December 5, 2011
This time of year, the hoophouse can be either a place to find great delight, or have a moment of complete despair.
With night time temperatures dipping into the twenties, the plants in the hoophouse often freeze solid overnight. The first time I witnessed this phenomenon, I was certain that we had lost the entire crop. I went back a couple hours later and was totally amazed at the transformation. The wilted, frozen plants were strong and straight and vibrant. WOW!
As long as the plants are protected from the winds, and somewhat sheltered from the cold, they will survive. On extremely cold nights, we put row cover on the young, delicate plantings. While we must accept some minimal loss throughout the winter, the amount of growth in the UN-heated hoophouses always amazes me. Some cloudy days the plants will stay frozen, only to have them bound back to verdant beauty with the next sunny day.
It might not be a trip to the islands, but on a sunny day it is green and warm and wonderful. ...not to mention profitable!