July is all about the heatwaves

Man, this month… We have had so many heat waves! My father in law used to swear by the Old Farmers Almanac, he bought one at the beginning of every year, and when I looked at it this spring it said it was going to be hot and wet. So far that’s been pretty accurate. 

This week we had a monsoon front move through the state, of course we only got a couple drops out of it, just enough to make us wish we had more. But the wind was insane, and blew hard enough to completely rip the plastic off my hoop house. If we were to repair the hoop house of would be the third time we have put new plastic up. We are thinking of rebuilding it instead. It’s been a tremendous learning experience, and we know now what we definitely need to plan for in the rebuild. We ate also thinking that in the long run we will be using corrugated polycarbonate sheeting for the roof, since we learned very quickly that we must have a pitch in the roof to avoid problems with the heavy snowfall we get here in the Rockies. I thought we accounted for it pretty well in our initial plan, but it turns out that without more support in the roof structure the plastic will just stretch and sag, causing build up of snow, and eventually ice unless you go out and physically remove it each time it snows. And seriously, who has time for that nonsense? On a homestead with many other things, including animals and pens, I think that the investment will quickly pay for itself in being able to be more efficient and not having to replace it as often. 

On another note, everything is growing really well, and I wanted to share the impressive tomato plants we have grown. I got just a bit of topsoil and mixed in some sand because we have a lot of clay in our soil, then fertilized then with Epsom salts, comfrey leaves, and rabbit droppings. That’s it. This is the product of that combination, and trellises for the tomatoes that run from the bar of the plant to the top of the hoop house. My daughter is 5 feet tall for scale. 

The wind coming through and ripping the plastic had actually been a good thing, because the peppers growing by the tomatoes have loads more sunlight and better access to water. I’m thinking of pulling water to ripen the tomatoes the first week of August, just to give the little guys more time to grow big. I will gather more photos add that gets closer. The plants a only slightly talked than in this photo, but I chopped the tops off so the growth will now go into the fruit and not the plant. 

Other than that is business as usual here at Straight Arrow Homestead, we ate just trucking along and planning for the next year. Hope this post finds you well!  

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