Archive for July, 2008

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Tobacco Hornworm

July 11th, 2008
tobacco horn worm

actual size believe it or not

Sooner or later you are going to encounter this little beast – the Tobacco Horn worm (Manduca sexta) munching on your tomatoes or peppers. He has a close relative called the tomato hornworm which for all practical purposes is the same thing, and despite the names they can infest a variety of your garden plants. For example that tobacco worm in the picture is on one of my celebrity tomato plants – you might also sometimes see them on eggplant, and potato plants. They can do a lot of damage in a short time so keep an eye out for missing foliage like this… » Read more: Tobacco Hornworm

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Hoop House – Greenhouse

July 6th, 2008
My $50 Hoop House

I’ve been kicking around the idea of building some kind of greenhouse for several years, but I think that I’ve finally decided that in my case the most practical way to take that plunge is going to be with a small hoop house. The main thing that I think I want to do with a green house is to be able to grow salad greens through the winter, get a head start on spring without having to worry about the occasional late frost that we get here in middle Tennessee, and maybe extend tomato season for a few weeks in the fall.

My garden has two central beds which are 3 feet wide, about 50 feet long, and have a 5 foot wide path between them. I think that I’m going to build my hoop house over these existing beds and the path between them, and design the end walls so that I can still run my lawnmower and rotor tiller through the beds even after the greenhouse is in place. This will make my green house eleven feet wide and probably about 24 feet long. I’m still kind of in the planning/brainstorming stage at this point, but I’ve run across a couple of sites which shows how to economically build a hoop house about this size using common building materials, and this article from Washington State University.

Update: I’ve actually built my greenhouse now and writen a post with lots of pictures about the whole process. My 50 Dollar Hoop House Greenhouse.