The snowstorm that blew through last week left us with patches of snow for Christmas. The robins were thinking they clearly made a mistake hanging around this late and proceeded to gorge themselves on the remaining Bradford pears.
I have made a little bit more of a concerted effort to do some winter gardening. I tend to have terrible germination rates both outside and inside, so the hoop house is a bit sparse. I am using black-painted milk jugs as heat sinks. They are filled with salty water to lower the freezing point and a little bleach to keep them from growing. They seem to be doing something, the lettuce close to the jugs is significantly bigger than the other lettuce which hasn't put on much size at all. We have had a few nights into the single digits and the lettuce is still going. I will keep my fingers crossed for a new years salad.
The second planting of lettuce started in the garage December 1 is much smaller.
This is my third year using this type of hoop house setup. It is just pvc tubing stuck into the ground covered with six mil poly. It is clamped down with cheap spring clamps from the hardware store. I end up leaving a couple of these up until at least May to speed up the tomato starts.