The plastic is ON!

jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)February 14, 2011

Thanks to many friends and family who came over, we were able to pull the plastic over this evening.

It went like clockwork. The wind would blow, then die down, then blow, then die down. When we go started, it just died. It stayed very calm for 45 minutes. That was long enough to get it over and secured.

Still need to finish the sides and the endwall doors, but it is up!

Now to start tearing the one inside down!

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Jay, I'm assuming that you have plants inside of the smaller one. If so, are you going to leave both of the plastics on for alittle while. If so, how about checking the temps to prove (to yourself, if nobody else) what changes might be?


    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 8:45AM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

I have just a few. It was the beds that I wanted to keep warm and prevent from freezing. They are prepped and ready to plant into this month and I will be planting tomatoes in here around March 20th. I have to tear down the smaller one down and get it rebuilt so I can plant peppers around April 1.


    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 9:15AM
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That thing looks larger than my entire back yard! What's the dimensions?


    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 5:04PM
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Jay, I am going to hi-jack your thread a little here because I assume you will be following this thread. You had an earlier thread about planting broccoli four plants in one location, and I would like to know what your feeling is about that method. Also, you mentioned it was an Eliot Coleman method but I haven't been able to find it. Can you tell me where he addresses that topic. Sorry for the hijack. Your hoophouse looks fantastic.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 7:13PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

Mike, the new hoop building is 30ft by 48 ft. It is about 13'6" to the peak. I am 5'10 and standing on a 7 foot ladder I can just get to the top. Wish I had a 10 footer!

Soonergrandmom, I am assuming you are going to be selling these broccoli. The verdict is still out. Here are my observations.

Last year was terrible broccoli year. Nothing really headed up to nice, it was everyone in the area, not just me. I also had the broccoli hailed on pretty good, so I am sure that didn't help it any.

It was much easier to plant 15 pots than 30 pots in each row. The plants seemed happy and grew well. I was happy with that. The heads were alittle smaller, but I am ok with it. the were around .75-1 pound each. Probably about the same size as the bigger ones you see in the store.

I am doing it again this year, so we will see if it will be a repeat performance, or if it was just a bad year.

It was in Coleman's New organic Grower on page 149. Multi-plant blocks.


Here is a link that might be useful: It is also mentioned here

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 9:29PM
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That broccoli block planting caught my eye too sooner - glad you asked. So JR - Instead of potting my broccoli plants up 1 to a pot, I could put 4 in one pot, and plant them in the garden that way? And you space them like any other broccoli plant? I normally space broccoli 1' apart - so in theory - I could have 4 plants per foot? Even if the heads were a little smaller - that is still a huge increase in production - as long as the heads aren't 1/4 of the size they would be with normal, regular spacing. Wow - I'm intrigued.

We had broccoli issues last year too - as did almost everyone around here. I think the heat must have been a factor - the plants just sat and sat - finally heading up in August or so. It was crazy.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 5:31PM
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what size of pots are you using for the broccoli?

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 6:01PM
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Jay, I am not selling, but you were the only one I found that was using the method, and since your email doesn't show, I decided to be rude and hi-jack your thread. I hope you didn't mind too much.

I had looked at the other article but wondered if it was just a gimmick to sell block makers. LOL Actual I use soil blocks for a lot of things anyway. Since I am not a market grower, I don't normally post here, but I frequently lurk and have been excited to see your business grow. I hope you continue to have success. Some day I will also have a hoophouse again, so I have found your methods interesting.

I will be growing many heads of broccoli, so I think I will grow both ways and see what works best in my climate. I am about one full state away from you in NE Oklahoma. Many is a relative term, so for me it is many, but to you it is nothing. My broccoli did well last year but wasn't as big as normal. We went from cold to hot very quickly here.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 7:50PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

Well I planted my 4 plants in one 1801 cell. It as about 2 inches by 2 inches. Since Coleman called for a 2 inch soil block, I thought it would work fine and it did.


You will need to space them every two feet, not one. However, in a 30 foot row, planting them 1 foot apart would give you 30. In the same 30 foot row, you could plant 15 hills of 4 and end up with 45 plants. So, yes it does increase your numbers.

Here is a picture of the 3 rows of 4 and the outside row are single plants.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 11:20PM
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Thanks JR - I'm gonna try this for sure this year.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 6:35PM
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