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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Gone With the Wind


Living on the frontier has it's benefits and it's drawbacks. We love the unobstructed view of the mountains, the amazing sunsets, how quiet it is at night, that we can walk out our backdoor and go for a hike or go mountain biking, we love watching the antelope, and we love that we can see so many stars at night.

All these benefits come with some drawbacks though. One of the drawbacks are the extreme gusts of wind. It was terrible last night and kept us all up for about an hour. See this trampoline, it ended up in our yard, and it belongs in the yard of the cute yellow house.
If the wind can do that to a trampoline, just imagine what it can do to my garden! 

No need to imagine, this is what it does to my garden.


Saturday we got our garden planted, Sunday we had hail. Luckily most everything survived. Monday morning I was on my 5:30 am run with my friend Heather, I was telling her how stressed I was about my garden.  She told me about what she does to protect her garden.

Her husband is the principal of a local high school. After the lunch cooks finish cooking, he collects all the large empty food cans and brings them home. She then opens the bottom of the can leaving about 2 inches of the bottom connected to the can. She places a can over each plant and pushes it into the ground a little so it won't blow away.

The little plant can still get sunlight, but has some protection against the wind. 
For the smaller plants, if you get hail, you can flip the lid to protect it from the hail. 

Her husband was so nice and brought some home for me too! 

The result.....a trashy looking garden. But, hopefully we will have some plants that can survive the elements.


What are your tips for protection against the wind?

~marisa





18 comments:

Gentleliving7 said...

Hi, A couple of years ago the wind blew all of our corn flat down on the ground......just as it was producing. It was heartbreaking. I am still trying to figure this one out. I like the idea of the cans for my tomato and pepper plants. I start mine from seeds and I bet this would be great protection at least for a little while. Thank you and God bless you!

Alice said...

I haven't tried this with big corn patches, but when I've done corn in the raised bed, I put a stake in each corner and wrap twine around the outsides to help protect them from the wind.

The cans are a great idea since you can get them for free.

teekaroo said...

Wind is a constant enemy in Wyoming. Wall o waters protect smaller plants and floating row covers work well as long as the wind doesn't start whipping them around.

Veggie PAK said...

Let's see... that would mean you have a "can do" approach to gardening, and other folks are just "uncanny". It's a clever use of the cans, especially the flip over for little plants. Perhaps a new way to recycle?

Bill said...

We have relied on walls of water for tomatoes until June. Once the cages are up, they seem to help for a while. A few years ago, the tomatoes had grown so heavy that the wind tried to knock over the cages so I got metal fence posts from IFA and put them on the edge of the cages and lashed it all together.

I like the can idea for my little peppers.

daisy said...

Love this idea! Not much wind here in Florida to worry about. Until hurricane season, that is...

Alice said...

Last year the twine on my cucumber trellis snapped in the wind and the cukes all came tumbling down. That was kind of sad, but I haven't upgraded to more expensive trellis material yet. Twine on metal conduit. :)

megan said...

What is a wall of water?

Desiree Fawn said...

Clever!

Prairie Cat said...

We've been trying to figure out a solution to wind gusts, too. I think we're planning on planting rows of trees to act as wind breaks for our property. It will take a few years for it to actually start working, but I hope it will be a more permanent solution.

Tightwad Mom said...

What a fabulous idea!!! Now I know what to do the all the empty #10 cans sitting in my food storage room.

Angie said...

That is a GREAT idea! I just found one of my tomato plants snapped in 1/2 this evening. :( When planting early tomato, pepper, cabbage etc plants, we cut the bottom off of milk jugs and place them over them. I mound the dirt up around it just a bit so they dont blow away, and they serve as a mini greenhouse. Once the plant grows to the top of the jug, we remove them.

Elisabeth said...

I love this idea. We save our tomato cans to use in feeding the animals. It makes a nice pail to carry the food but this sounds like another great way to use them.

Elisabeth

Dani said...

Marisa

Cool idea - and great recycling :-) We also have a wind problem (it usually comes from the south east) so we have strug up a shade cloth wall to protect the plants (http://ecofootprintsa.blogspot.com/2011/04/where-were-all-easter-bunnies-then.html)

Dani

brooke said...

GREAT idea!!!

Elaine said...

Wind is my biggest problem growing on a rooftop. To deal with it I drag out the hardening off process to 2 weeks so that the plants have time to toughen their stems. Once they're out on the roof everything gets immediately tied to stakes or cages.

Dani said...

Marisa

Thanks for visiting my blog. I can't reply to your comment until Blogger fixes whatever the comment problem is.

Glad you found what I wrote useful - I'm so happy to help :-)

Dani

David said...

Marisa, My method of wind protection involves cages and mulch. I have the bigger tomato cages that I place in the raised bed before I plant the tomato. Then I have eight foot green tomato pole support that's a installed inside the cage and planted about 18 inches into the ground. This allows for something to support those Rutgers plants when they grow out of the four foot cage. Last year they grew up to the top of the pole. Once I get the tomatoes planted inside the cage. I mulch with straw about 4 to 5 inches deep every where in the raised bed except the small area inside the cage. This is about a 4 or 5 inch diameter. At this point the tomato plants are just barely the same height as the straw mulch. It protects them against all kinds of weather conditions. I did once have a rabbit try to nest in the straw mulch but a good dose of cayenne pepper made her move on to less heated quarters.

Have a great day in the garden