From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Vegetable Garden Architecture

Some of my garden hardware


I have a metal livestock fence panel -- a grid about 12 feet long and 5 feet tall. Recently, I've been growing cucumbers on it, but I've used it for pole beans in the past. I stand the panel up against three steel fence posts. I place a large stone under each end of the panel to lift it about 8 inches off the ground, and then I wire the panel to the posts. The space under the panel makes it easier to hoe or to mulch around the plants.

For the zucchinis, I use a long pallet that I picked up beside a dumpster some years ago. I lay it over the bed so the vines will grow up and lie on the pallet. My theory is that the zucchinis resist mildew and squash borers better with their vines off the ground. This method doesn't seem to deter the squash bugs, but they can be controlled somewhat by inspecting the leaves regularly and eliminating the eggs.

This year, I planted the tomatoes and peppers in groups of three. I gave each plant a cage and tied each group of cages to a steel fence post in their center. I do this because unsupported cages are likely to fall over in a rain or wind storm. The fence post eliminates this problem.

Related post:
My Experience with Tomato Cages and Stakes

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Gennie, I use a steel panel to wire my tomatoe cages to so it only takes a steel post on each side. It has been so cold here that only the onions and radishes, and turnips are liking it. And the grass which is the only good thing about it. We are ready for some warm weather and one day it will just be hot. Typical for Nebraska.
Sammie

Genevieve said...

Hi, Sammie. The steel panels probably add a little extra support for any vines that excape their cages, too.

I've just about finished my garden. I planted some dill tonight. First chance I get, I'm going to mix up some Roundup and spray around the outside edge to help keep the Bermudagrass back. It throws out runners, and it is terrible about wanting to creep in, under, over, around, etc.

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Hello Genevieve, Thanks for the nice email story about your country store experience. Your idea of gardening sounds fairly close to my ways. "Make do" with what you find or have in your garden stockpile of supplies. I liked your idea of staking three cages together. I find not only the wind but the tomatoes themselves can heave a plant cage over from their sheer weight. You have great posts! Will check out why you had trouble leaving a comment.-- BARBARA

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.