When you start a garden you’re filled with high hopes and dreams of juicy vegetables and fruit just waiting to be picked. Hopes and dreams are great, but the reality of gardening can be a bit more sobering. It’s not always the dreams of standing in your backyard with the morning sun shining on your face and your feet wet from the morning dew as you pick a perfectly ripe cantaloupe from the vine and slice it open. Then as you sink your teeth into the freshly cut cantaloupe and taste it’s sweetness a double rainbow forms overhead almost as a sign that your garden will produce a great abundance of fruit and vegetables this year. It could happen, but it takes a lot of hard work, trial and error and mistakes to make a dream like that a reality.
On the contrary to the description above, for many people, including myself, gardening can be anything but sun, dew, ripe cantaloupe and double rainbows. From my experience of beginning a garden it’s more like clouds, frost, caterpillars and uncertainty that anything will produce.
One reason that lead me to start TheGardenCloche.com was my utter failure of transplanting seedling to my raised bed garden. With no clue of the final day of frost for my zone, I eagerly went to Home Depot and bought a propagator and a bunch of seeds – tomatoes, zucchini, green onions, peas, cucumbers and some herbs. I watered the compressed soil (or coconut husk…whatever that stuff is) and planted the seeds delicately. Then I waited. I checked the progress of the seeds everyday and made sure they had enough water. They grew well and pretty quickly. I soon realized that these seedlings were getting too big for the propagator and that it was time for them to be transplanted. The problem was that it was still cold outside. I could feel that any small seedling would inevitably perish in that kind of wet, cold, windy weather. With a prayer in my heart I turned off my common sense and went ahead and released the seedlings into the wild to survive on their own, hoping that somehow they'd thrive. Well, survive they did not. Just days later they were all shriveled up, limp and lifeless. Sad, but still determined to grow something I did more research into growing in my area. I discovered when I should be planting outside and what I should be planting. I waited for the weather to warm up and then re-planted – some plants, some seeds. As I was learning about gardening I came across garden cloches and thought how clever and useful they were. They looked like a mini greenhouse for an individual plant. The thing was, I could not find garden cloches anywhere. I found greenhouses, plant covers, blankets, but no garden cloches. How could such a practical and useful gardening tool not be available in the US?! …And thus TheGardenCloche.com was born. Hopefully now others that begin a garden don’t have to go through the frustration and disappointment I did.