Early February I sowed lettuce, kale, pea and beet seeds in the first of my raised beds, and made a mini hoop house to protect them and provide them a cozy environment to get an early start. I am most pleased with the result, as you can see everything is growing extremely well.
Tomorrow I plan on thinning the lettuce. At the far end is a trellis, which will support the scarlet runner beans I planted today. I grow scarlet runner beans first for their wonderful flavor, and second, because they have the most beautiful scarlet flowers.
The mini hoop houses are very easy to construct using this tubing I bought from Ace hardware, some brackets and floating row cover to cover them once constructed.
Here is a bracket held in place with deck screws, and the tubing which has been cut to length, pushed down through the bracket. The same was done on the opposite side of the raised bed. It is very secure and does not flop over.
The whole structure is then covered using the floating row cover material which comes as a 5x50' piece and can be cut to fit. I use bricks to hold down the sides and wooden clothes pins to hold the two pieces together where needed.
This hoop house took only about 15 minutes to construct today. Growing here are bush beans, Swiss chard, which I over wintered, kale, peas at this end of the garden, and at the far end I will plant cucumbers when the weather is warmer, these will also have a trellis to climb.
I still have more cleanup to do, and hopefully tomorrow the weather will be as beautiful as it was today.
The two tires towards the rear, house strawberry plants the other three will be for tomatoes. I think the raised bed, bottom left, will be where I grow summer squash.