gazebo/sunscreen for veggie garden

kvilter_gardener(9)March 17, 2007

i am looking for a way to 1) keep doggies out of garden and 2) shade veggies from the middday sun here in phoenix. i am exploring buying a tubular steel gazebo and some sort of fencing material. anyone have any ideas or experience with such a problem???? thanks!


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sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

kvilter gardener,
I have been thinking about doing the same thing. I have been looking at a really large one that has a steel frame. You can spray the canvas part with scotch guard or other sun repellent type stuff to make it last a little longer.
I plan to grow my gingers, heliconia, decorative bananas and vines in there they are currently taking over the shady patio lol. I may even add a misting system and will put in a small spa in one corner.

Some native americans in the SW used to build 'ramadas' (shade structures)to shelter thier crops from intense afternoon sun. I think a sturdy steel framed gazebo would do the same thing. If the sides were screened in to let in the sun and you had stuff in pots or postioned them in the ground where they could get slanted afternoon sun and full morning sun it would be ideal. The side screens if zipped shut and sealed somehow on the bottom might help to keep pests out as a bonus.
Since you have a dog you are trying to keep out, depending on the size of the dog, you may need some sturdy fencing outside the gazebo. I have a lab pup who likes to chew so I will have to put up something pup proof.
My mom always makes shade structures for her melons and pumpkins and they do well.
Hopefully someone else has some more advice. Let me know if you try it. I will get some photos posted when I get mine done.
~SJN (in Lake Havasu,AZ)

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 3:58PM
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thanks for the words of encouragement-just need a plan drawn up etc. look forward to seeing yours! pat

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 1:50PM
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jmccon2(Z9 Phoenix AZ~z9 Phoenix AZ)

I like your idea on the framed gazebo. Very clever.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 6:33PM
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Check out IKEA's summer "pavillion"; it's sturdy plastic piping with UV-resistant vinyl mesh you attach to the top and sides. Diemsion-wise, I would fay it is 7' high snd 8'-9 ft in the centre and about 10' to a side... It is IKEA, but at only around $70, it may be worth a try...

    Bookmark   April 13, 2007 at 9:38AM
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I'm doing "Sqare Foot Gardening" in Phoenix. I've done a couple things in my garden to protect my plants. We have lots of rabbits, so I've got chicken wire to surround. Rabbits won't bother to jump over, but I'm betting dogs might. Over my lettuce i have a piece of fencing bent (kinda like a quonset hut)to serve as a canopy. I toss plain old burlap over this and it protects the plants from cooking in the mid-day sun.
Over my tomato/cucumber plants I secured some chicken wire. Burlap sits fine over this structure as well. This really helped protect them in early March when it hit 100degrees. I have a mish-mash of plants, but my kids are having a blast and we are eating/replanting regularly.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2007 at 11:19PM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

Phyllis, I love your garden! Where are you that you have rabbits, not in the middle of the city surely? What else do you have in there? I wanted to do sq ft gardening, but got too wrapped up with animal care and never got the forms built. I have most of my veggies in pots or tubs and I'm gardening in long flower beds. I have my fingers crossed that this is one year when I will actually have a good crop of tomatoes.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2007 at 8:55PM
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Believe ir not, I'm actually in the city with all its roads under construction and heavy traffic. I'm close to the North Mountain Preserve, and the lawn sprinklers I'm sure attract the quail and rabbits that we see daily (and the occasional coyote).

I put the least expensive compost and garden soil I could get at Home Depot, as my garden location needed dirt and I didn't want to fill it with a bunch of caliche dirt. The good dirt I'm sure took me a long way.

I used "Extreme Gardening" By the Garden Guy Dave Owens. It is hot weather/Arizona specific. It has been a great resource for co-planting ideas, organic solutions, when to plant in desert, etc.

Here's a list of my plants I put in by seed: beets, radishes, corn, carrots, sunflowers, canteloupe, snow peas, and NewZealand spinach.

I bought small transplants of: japanese eggplant, golden bell pepper, sweet100 tomatoes, little gold tomatoes, strawberries, mint, thyme, tarragon, parsley, sage, basil,red leaf lettuce and butterhead lettuce, and a variety flowers- johnny-jump-ups, panseys, marigold, zinnia, geranium, salvia, petunia, alyssium, cosmos.

Wow! I didn't realize what a variety of stuff I had. I already know that I want more tomatoes and probably won't do the strawberries again. It is a grand experiment, distractor from the aggravations of life, and a lot of fun.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2007 at 9:57PM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

I predict you will have more eggplant than you can keep up with. I had *one* Japanese eggplant that was incredibly prolific. The freeze really bit it hard so I took it out and replaced it with a small transplant. You have a great selection in your garden. Mine is not as diverse, but I'm adding a bit at a time.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 1:52AM
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That is what I am observing. The eggplant is going wild. It is one of my fave veggies, so I'm very excited. Just in the last week things have grown so much! Is it my imagination or has the wind been drying to my plants, particularly the tomatoes??

    Bookmark   April 20, 2007 at 9:18PM
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