It’s Matt – Although in many parts of the Untied States, spring has been around for a little while. Here in the Rockies we are barely over 70 in the day and still in the 30 and lower in some places. With Colorado getting dumped on with a ton of snow just this past week gardening might be the last thing on our mind. BUT – places like Lowes, Home Depot and many other do it your self stores have many yard and garden items half off!
I Got 36 Tulips that where all about 1 foot tall for half off at Lowes.
I got 4 very large tomato plants at my local mom and pop nursery on 10th street and Homedale Rd, just off of Karcher Rd in Caldwell – Sweetbriar Nurseries.
They have always given us the best and largest fruits and veggies
Then just in case the frost comes, I set up this “greenhouse” Read below how to set it up.
First plant the tomatoes, or peppers or what ever you have.
Place a wire cage over the plant . Also you want to keep the plastic away from the edge of the plants. So I set up the half gallon buckets or boxes on the out side corners. just a few will do near the corners
On the right side of the “green house” you can see how it angles out about half way down. On this side I used a smaller, partial broken round wire cage. I save almost everything.
Next buy some indoor/outdoor extension cords at a dollar store. Cut the “female” end off. (not the part the plugs into the wall)
At Walmart, or the do it your self stores, get the lamp sockets. Under a dollar. And some cheap light bulbs.
If you don’t remember how to wire these sockets together from shop class in high school, you can read how here at DIY
Now I used an old coat hanger, opened it up straight, and twisted it around the wire that goes into the socket base.
I then positioned the light hanging over the plants on each end, and one in the middle.
You really only want to place them about 3-4 feet apart, so judge how many you will need to make based on that distance. Run the wires above the plants off the ground to keep away from water.
Plug them all in together with an extension cord. I only have 3 cords and that orange cable you see under the plastic is a 3 cord receiver cord that is only about 2 feet long. then I run a outdoor extension cord to an outlet.
You can see that I am laying a piece of wood on top, to help keep the plastic from moving too much. Also I placed a small piece of duct tape on the plastic over where small metal edges stick out. That way when the wind blows the plastic it doesn’t tear through the plastic.
I set up a small drip line irrigation right to the base of each plant (that’s another post all together.)
Cost for 3 light warmers and green house:
$3 – lamp sockets
$2.56 – plastic 10 ft x 30 ft
$9 – 3 receiver extension adapter
And about 30 mins.
I did this last year and it saved my tomatoes in 20 degree weather. Yes your back yard will glow at night, but your neighbors will think you have a huge green thumb when your garden is 2x bigger then their, and you have fruits and veggies months before they do!