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Gardening the Whole Year Long

Mark Hull inspects the onions and carrots which he grew under the protective cover of a hoop house.

The design of the two domed structures adjacent to Mark Hull’s garden plot on Hurricane Creek Road resemble that of high tunnels used by commercial growers to produce early season offerings. The structures are hoop houses which cover raised beds.

For gardeners, each bite of home grown produce is its own reward. While Hull could use his hoop houses to get a jump on an early garden, he has found that he can also utilize them to grow carrots, onions, beets, garlic, celery, and lettuce all year long. He can enjoy a home grown gardening reward every month of the year.

After years of struggling without success to grow beets and carrots in his regular garden, he is now enjoying both thanks to the hoop houses which he built from scratch using treated lumber, PCV piping, and heavy duty polyethylene film.

His attempt at growing celery this winter did not go well. “It was doing great until we had a day in December in which the temperature hit 70°. I don’t know how high it got in the hoop house, but it was hot enough to kill it,” he said. The mishap occurred just as the celery was getting table ready.

It will be a while before this year’s hoop house carrots will be ready for picking. That said, Mark is still enjoying carrots which his wife Peggy canned in 2023.

Cannings from the Hull garden include beans, beets, and tomatoes.

The kale and turnips which Hull planted last year came through the winter in good shape and is availble for harvesting.

Creasy greens from the Hull garden will soon be ready for harvest. The creasies, kale and turnips must disappear because potato planting time is near.

Planting time for beans, corn and tomatoes will follow later on.

The Hull garden includes blackberries and blueberries.

There will be a harvest of some sort each and every month of 2024.

Creasies and turnips in the Hull garden.
An inside view of the hoop house.
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