Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hell's Vegie Patch

It's not often we get temperatures like those in the chart above in Melbourne, but when it does get in to the high 30's or low 40's (c) the vegies need a little help.

To avoid the kind of damage shown at left a shade cloth cloche is ideal.

My raised beds are rectangular and have wooden stumps at the corners and along the sides, the stumps not only hold up the sides of the bed, they allow me to fix things to the top.

Drilling down into the top of the stumps allows lengths of dowel to be inserted which are capped at the top end by a length of pine which stretches across the bed to the opposite stump/dowel structure.

recessions are drilled into the pine to allow them to sit securely on the dowel. Next I cut shade cloth to incorporate the length and width of the bed as well as side and end flaps to allow for the depth (which is equal to the length of the dowel).

To secure the shade cloth simply screw cup hooks into the top of the stumps, one for each side stump, and two, at 90 degrees to each other, for the end stumps, all hooking/opening out from the bed. You can also use this structure to support bird netting.

I also fix the filter/pressure regulator unit for my drip irrigation system to the top of one of the stumps for easy access.
**BTW remember that if your Veg. require pollination open up the shade cloth cloches in the mornings before the heat of the day to let the pollinators at them or you'll be doing a lot of tomato tickling **

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