Food raising in Tennessee 2018

Discussion in 'The Green Patch' started by TnAndy, Apr 5, 2018.

  1. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Bit cool this morning a 29, but most of our stuff in growing inside right now and has been for a month.

    Peas are up about 8-10" and beginning to climb the wire. Lettuce is lush, been eating on it all winter. Broccoli up good, near ready to head. Blue lake green beans up, more planted to follow.


    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Ganado, Mindy Sue, techsar and 7 others like this.
  2. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    VERY nice set up Andy!
  3. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    I have a bad case of organized greenhouse envy. Looks beautiful and I "KNOW" how hard it is to keep it looking that good and that organized. Thank you for the pictures. I enjoyed them and they inspire me to try to get my act together.
    Ganado, Mindy Sue, techsar and 3 others like this.
  4. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    X's 2 on this statement. Seeing that kind of makes me feel like a slacker. :(
    Tully Mars likes this.
  5. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I forgot how amazing your greenhouse is. The way you organized your planting beds is perfect. Do you put in soil amendments every year?
    Tully Mars and tacmotusn like this.
  6. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    Well done!!! [chopper]

    Question, what are your issues with what you have going and how are you overcoming them? Does the output meet family needs?
  7. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    As needed, from the compost pile. Wife uses a fish emulsion fertilizer during the year.
    Ganado, Tully Mars and Motomom34 like this.
  8. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Well, age is a issue.....ahahaaa. One reason we built the bigger hoop house with near waist level beds. Original thinking was more to extend growing season, and it certainly has done that. Our last 'normal' frost free date is May 10th, so things like beans don't get much of a shot outside before then. But even the cool weather stuff like lettuce, pea, broccoli do SO much better inside because the soil temps are much higher. By extending the growing season to about 10 months (Feb-Dec), we can triple crop easily. Tried growing the two winter months, but the amount of heat required is ridiculous, and light also becomes a significant factor....stuff just seems to idle, waiting for more daylight, so we just winter over lettuce for the most part.

    The original small green house was really an extension of my solar equipment room (battery/elec gear) with the idea wife would use it to over winter her house plants and use to start seedlings in spring for the outside gardens. Built tables like you see in pic 1. Tried some container growing in it, but again: heat and light were issues...though the heat is better, since this is a south facing, 16mm triple wall polycarbonate glazed, earth banked structure, it doesn't freeze in there even with no auxiliary heat....still takes heat to raise much other than cool weather varieties.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Wife later decided she was keeping too many house/deck plants over the winter (though it sure brightened up the green house !), and cut back on that.


    So I took out most of the tables and built permanent beds on the front/back walls like you see now. Hauled dirt in one tractor bucket to 5 gallon plastic bucket at a time. Changed it more to food production rather than house plant growing. Life is one constant experiment around here. :D


    Also added that 16" DC fan in the far back wall you can see a bit in pic 1 original post. Runs off a 100w panel on the roof outside thru a thermostat. In full sun, it really sucks the air thru there.

    Did the hoop house a few years after this greenhouse experiment. Now I can say everybody ought to have one, you can grow an AMAZING amount of food in one. Ours is 20x36. I thought about building another one 30' wide (that would hold two 5' wide inside beds instead of the one we have now, with a 4' aisle between all beds) x 50' long....but we decided we'd simply be raising WAY too much food and working ourselves to death for other people....don't need the money, so why bother. BUT if a person did want the money, or had a larger family, that size would raise an incredible amount of produce.

    Full summer production:

    We often have surplus to give away. Wife sells her excess eggs when she goes to line dance class she teaches 2x /week......last night, for example, she took 9 dozen eggs in with her, and several bags of 'first come, first served' free lettuce.

    Only real issue we've had in the hoophouse was last year we got a terrible white fly infestation....little tiny things that got all over the summer tomatoes, thought they don't seem to affect the crop too much....just annoying when you work/pick. Haven't figured out a good, non chemical way to beat them yet. Too much heat/light also become an issue in mid summer, but we use a shade cloth over the top to cut that down some.
    oldawg, Ganado, Mindy Sue and 3 others like this.
  9. Mindy Sue

    Mindy Sue Monkey

    Thank you for sharing! Very inspiring...can't wait to get mine this nice. You've given me some great ideas to get mine growing :):p
    Yard Dart likes this.
  10. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Love the way you plan ahead, waiste high beds etc. Looks amazinbg! thanks again for sharing your skills with us.

    whiteflies, try yellow plastic plates on a string with thin coating of vaseline so the flies stick to the plate, it takes a while and you have to change out the plates several times in the 1st few days. but it works indoors very well
  11. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Very good ! We will sure give that a try. Thanks.
    Tully Mars likes this.
  12. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    If you want to get rid of white flies, plant marigold and oregano in between your other plants. Planting nasturtium will stop
    aphids in your greenhouse. The companion plants will attract these pests away from your food crop. Trick is to leave them
    on the companion plants where they are happy. Otherwise, they may migrate to the plants you want to eat.

    This is from Ms Sloth
    I'm the Lawn Boy here

    She also liked your hoop houses & such , I see more work coming up .
    Ganado, oldawg, TnAndy and 2 others like this.
  13. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Sloth is correct on the companion planting as a preventative measure and ... once you have a hoard of them vaseline and yellow plates are a must.
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