I Picked Two Gallon Size Zip Lock Bags

I picked two, gallon size zip lock bags, stuffed full of Swiss chard from only ten plants. Not bad for the second day of spring. The plants are under my mini greenhouses, protected from the birds, and the heat makes them grow very fast. I have had to open the tops a little to let the hot air out. The plants that were left outside have been eaten to the ground. I don’t know why it took me so long to figure it out. Covering one plant last year was an experiment that has changed the way I garden. I got a meal of spinach too because the row is covered, and overwintered under a plastic covered hoop. The greenhouse lettuce is almost ready to start picking so I direct seeded another row outside. I’ve read that for a continual harvest you can plant every two weeks until the weather gets warm, but that’s an awful lot of lettuce. I harvest the outside leaves and the plants keep on producing more.

I have finally foiled the birds from getting underneath the bird netting that’s covering my Iona peas. I’ve only got a half row left, and Iona peas are only half sized, so I’m going to plant a row of Wando peas. They don’t need trellising which means I can plant them anywhere and just cover them with my hoops. If they turn out well I might forget the trellis plantings in the future. I don’t think I can taste the difference between different types of peas, but we’ll find out. Bird netting is getting harder to see and so not only are the cats moving it but I keep snagging it too. Having it attached to the wire hoops makes it easy to use, but I can’t use the hoops up against a trellis because the vines grow through it, unless they are planted in the center, which puts them too far from the trellis.

I love my old greenhouse. It’s getting dilapidated just like me. The corrugated plastic is cracking overhead allowing water in. The wooden frame is getting dry rot and the next big snowstorm could be it’s demise. My son wanted to get me a new one but I’m bonded to this relic. It’s as comfortable as an old rocking chair, and a familiar friend in a way that I don’t understand. I can’t tear it down. A long time ago my wife threw away my old insulated Levi jacket. When I walked by the trash can and saw it I felt sad. It was like the end of an era, the loss of my youth. As long as my old greenhouse can hang on, so can I. I keep patching it and it keeps making me smile.

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