Over the past few months, while the weather’s been nasty, I’ve been spending far too much time on Pinterest gathering inspiration for this summer’s garden.
Every spring, I get excited about what I want to grow in my garden and every fall, I’m reminded that I’m awesome at growing slugs. This spring, my intention is to slay the slugs and plant crops that I know I can grow. Get good at one or two things. Ok, maybe not one or two, more like five. This year, I want to grow five things well.
We live on top of the hill and still have a few feet of snow in our yard. While the folks in town are already seeing their perennials pop up, I’m shoveling three feet of snow out of my garden beds. So to kick start my growing season (and extend it) I built a series of low tunnels over my garden beds.
My friend, Carey, who runs Homer Hilltop Farm taught me how using rough cuts from a local sawmill, rebar, a few pieces of PVC pipe, and a roll of 6mil plastic sheeting.
My low tunnels have been amazing. Essentially what I did was build a basic garden box from rough-cuts I bought at Small Potatoes Lumber. I put landscaping fabric at the bottom and then filled it with garden soil I bought at the Anchor Point Greenhouse. I hammered rebar into the ground along the sides of my garden bed, stretched PVC pipes over and secured them onto the rebar, and then clamped a sheet of 6mil plastic over the pipes.
There’s a great article here at Mother Earth News that gives a good idea how it’s done. The only modification I made to this one was that I didn’t secure the plastic sheeting with wood. I just clamp it onto the PVC pipes. We get colder nights and warmer days on the hill, so I need to be able to vent my low tunnels on hot days so that the moose don’t get in (and boy do they try!) and seal them up on colder nights.
Pondering your Homer garden? Here are my favorite resources for getting your garden going:
Anchor Point Greenhouse – a great source for garden soil, starts, seeds, anything you need for gardening.
Wagon Wheel – this place is so much fun. I pick up starts, potting soil, eggs, and seeds here while my kids occupy themselves by saying hello to the pets in the back. I’ve also bought huge bunches of rhubarb when it’s in season.
Gregoire Construction – will deliver garden soil straight to your property.
Homer Garden Club – their web site doesn’t look like it’s working but their book sure is! Visit the Homer Bookstore for the new 2019 copy of Kachemak Cultivating from Seaside to Summit: A Guide to Successful Gardening on Alaska’s Southern Kenai Peninsula.
Homer Folk School – watch that space or follow them on Facebook for great classes on how to grow in our climate. My friend, Heidi, went to a class on chickens and another on beekeeping. Now she’s practicing what she’s learned and it’s great fun!