Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Some veggies like it hot... but not too hot... or cold

The last few days have broken the 100 degree mark but the forecast indicates relief is on the way for me and my veggie garden. Over about 90 degrees, even heat-loving tomatoes and peppers begin to suffer from fruit set failure. Luckily, lots of fruit had already set prior to the heatwave and it's maturing nicely.

Some tomatoes have been bred to resist high heat, and I do plan to grow one or two heat-resistant varieties next season to see how they taste.

At the other end of the climate spectrum, coastal gardeners have a hard time rounding up enough heat for good fruit set, particularly when night temperatures dip below the critical 55 degree mark. I think if I lived on the coast, I would require a Veg-A-Lot Greenhouse. These affordable compact greenhouses... greenhuts?... are manufactured by Doyle Doss, a Humboldt County gardener and inventor.

The tomato-obsessed (like me) would definitely require a Tomato Palace. It's a vertical beauty, but only one lucky gardener gets one because production has shifted to the Veg-A-Lot and there's only one left!

Here's the Veg-A-Lot press release and a few photos:


Vegetable gardening on the Pacific North Coast is extremely challenging and very often heart breaking. Low temperatures, constant winds, summer fogs, salt air – all conspire to sabotage the most dedicated gardener's efforts to raise food for their family and friends. Now you can put all that bad weather behind you and garden successfully right next to the ocean with a Veg-A-Lot™ Insulated Greenhouse.

The Veg-A-Lot™ Insulated Greenhouse is specifically designed for adverse growing conditions. Five ft wide, eight feet long, and five feet tall provides 40 sq ft of insulated garden space. (You can grow a lot of food in 40 square feet!)

No need to "go inside" – the walls go UP↑ and DOWN↓ like a Roll-Top Desk! (Completely assembled and priced at $795-.) No wasted space to an aisle way – yet convenient and easy access to all your vegetables. It's amazing!

Solidly constructed of structural aluminum and wood to withstand wind and storm; the Veg-A-Lot™ Growhouse is glazed with Solexx™, a translucent UV resistant twin-wall polyethylene, which creates an insulating dead air blanket around your garden.

The Veg-A-Lot™ Greenhouse is superbly suited for raised bed "square foot" or "French-intensive" gardening techniques. No deer, raccoons, dogs, cats, or birds can get to your vegetables. No winds to dry out your crops, so watering is greatly reduced. Very effective pest control with minimal care and maximum yields. "Honey, I need some carrots, would you mind going out to pick a few?" (This could be you.)

GO ORGANIC! It is so much easier in a Veg-A-Lot™ Growhouse -- you have absolute control of the growing environment! I am growing eggplant, carrots, turnips, beets, lettuces, bell peppers, habanero pepper, spinach, parsley, cilantro, lettuces, arugula, broccoli, okra, strawberries, bush beans -- all in 40 sq ft, with room for more!

This truly is an amazing new approach to vegetable gardening, especially for today's busy lifestyles and high food costs. You can grow a substantial portion of your food in your own backyard and enjoy the flavor and improved nutritional value of fresh food. Um-m-m-m-m good!

Visit http://www.heatstick.com for further information.

Any plans for a Veg-A-Lot Shadehouse for Central Valley gardeners, Doyle? ;-)


  1. Anonymous10:31 AM

    I too am possessed by fresh, homegrown tomatoes. But I am constantly wondering at what price? I haven't read the book, but it's on my list to read is The $64 Tomato (William Alexander). I'm not at all suggesting that I'm going to quit cold turkey. Not with 40 tomato varieties growing this year. But I am reminded by the expense this little experiment is costing me. I need to have a little of the palace for myself, and not just for the monster I am growing. Maybe I should buy Veg-A-Lot for me to live in and let the tomatos have the house (giggle)

  2. The $64 tomato is on my list too. I think the problem here is that you're doing the math. Math can be a real buzz killer when you're growing tomatoes, going out to dinner, or enjoying that new pair of shoes. Life is short, so put away the calculator. ;-)

    Oh, and 40 tomatoes is too much, unless you're planning on setting up a stand at the local farmers' market. Are you? Do you?


    Man, oh, man.

    Can I see the list?

  3. Anonymous12:26 AM

    Actually, I don't think I'll have too much of a problem. So far 40% of the plants are without fruit, and I am seeing regular blossom drop. I am supposing I will have a couple of plants at least that won't produce any fruit. The cool coastal fog keeps tomatoes from producing their usual bounty. Here's my list:
    I tried to get all the photos up today, but I had the camera battery die and I was just too busy putting in mulch.

    If I do have a bumper crop, I eat what I can, and what I can't I can. (ha ha... not to mention the local homeless shelter has never turned away fresh vegetables or fruit.)

  4. Anonymous12:29 AM

    Hmmm.... Put away the calculator.

    Excellent suggestion.