Plastic and Planting and Perennials, Oh My!


We began our workday last weekend with a shopping spree. We are entering the beginning of finals so many of our members were busy studying or preparing for their honors exams, leaving three of us freshman alone with a perhaps undeserved amount of power and money in a Home Depot. I like to think we used it wisely, though we may have gotten a little over-excited in the face of so many seedlings. We came away with a lot of trowels, some kid-sized shovels, a 22-ft ladder (it was a Tetris-worthy challenge fitting it into the van) and a great deal of youthful fruit and vegetable plants.

When we arrived at the garden, Terrence was at the top of a ladder, ministering to the top of the hoop  house frame. Today was the day to put the plastic on top and turn the hoop house from a skeleton to a skeleton with a roof. This turned out to be a fairly labor-intensive but exciting process that involved climbing to the top of a slightly wobbly ladder, stretching the plastic tight and holding it down at the corners despite wind tossing it around, and mastering wiggle wire, which is used to sandwich the plastic into a groove on the top of the hoop house to secure it, in a simple but ingenious method. This done, and feeling very pleased with ourselves (despite Terrence having completely masterminded the entire thing), we hurried to plant all our seedlings before we had to bring the van back.

Many of the tomatoes and peppers that we had planted the week before had been bitten by frost, so we replaced some of them (though some have survived) and filled up some other beds that we hadn’t planted yet with more tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelon (exciting!), broccoli, kale, and some zucchini. We also finally were able to work out our water situation (at least temporarily), and were able to hook up our hose and water our seedlings.

We had been a little scant on kids that day, but the watering definitely attracted some helpers, particularly Ramaj, who used the hose like a champ and was able to show impressive self-control in only spraying us with very small quantities of water.


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