full sun bed--great! full *wind* bed--not so much...

oklibrarianMarch 31, 2009

We are lucky enough to have a 2-tiered back yard in our new house, seperated by a retaining wall. the top tier is very slightly sloped, faces south, and gets almost total sun. Perfect spot for a garden, right? We thought so, and put in our first 4x8 SFG (of 5 or so planned)early this month. However... our state is rather famously known for its wind, and while a tree line at our northern boundary breaks the worst of the winter and early spring blustery weather, we also get strong winds from the south and west on our warmer days that have not been kind to our seedlings. the lettuce has gotten the worst of it even though we placed it in the back rows of the garden, and we also lost one broccoli plant that broke off in a particularly strong gust. next year I will start everything that I can from seed outdoors, as I'm not sure they got hardy enough indoors to endure the early breezes. What else can I do without shading my sunny garden spot? I thought about some sort of hoop house or cold frame, but I'm worried that might overheat the plants. Thoughts from the SFG experts? Aside from this issue, things are going swimmingly, and I look forward to my first little 4x8 spreading to a large kitchen garden for us, friends, and family over the next few years--in large part due to everything I've learned lurking here and in my state's gardening forum! :-)

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Last year, my pepper plants were getting flattened by the wind (ok, most all of my plants were, but somehow I wasn't sure the peppers could take it). I put a circle of sheer curtain fabric (I had a leftover piece) around them (not over though) and it really cut the wind without changing anything overhead.

You might be able to sort of "fence" your beds with sheer, or window screening, maybe even as big as hardware cloth, that might cut the wind speed enough to give the little guys a break.

I think this year, I am going to run twine about 12-18" up, through my corn to keep it from being flattened to the ground. Once the plants got bigger, they seemed fine in the wind.

You might also try wintersowing some of your seeds. I'm trying it for the first time this year. It may make them hardier.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tales of a Transplanted Gardener

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 1:42PM
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I, too, am exposed, with 10-15 mph gusts being felt on a "normal" day, and 40-50 mph during an "active" day. What I've donw with the smaller seedlings is cut the bottom and top off of a 1 gallon milk jug, and press it right into the ground around the plant. This also works for rabbits and other small animals (if you don't have a fence, of course).

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 2:04PM
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2 great ideas in as many replies! how cool is that! First, I guessed basically what wintersowing was by the name, but a google search took me to a great guide. This looks a lot more idiotproof than this year's adventures with a seed starter box and the under-counter kitchen lights, and in my case idiotproof is a good thing! ;-) As for the other, I can't believe the milk jug idea didn't occur to me! I think I have some old ones I can cut up and use for that purpose, at least for the lettuces. Thanks so much!

Here is a link that might be useful: Guide to Winter Sowing

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 2:51PM
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When I use milk jugs for protection, I make a hook out of heavy wire (or a wire coat hanger), hook the bent end through the handle and jab the other end down into the dirt to keep the jug from blowing away. I like the jugs, if it gets really cold you can put the lid on and make it into a mini-greenhouse. Just be sure to remove the lid if it warms up.


Here is a link that might be useful: Annie's Kitchen Garden

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 3:24PM
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shebear(z8 NCentralTex)

One word.........Reemay. After that you can use insect cloth.

If you need pollination, then make a windbreak with it.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 5:09PM
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There is also a wintersowing forum here on GW and Trudi D also started a Facebook group if you're on there. The forum here is very active and has tons of info. It sounded too interesting and too easy not to try it!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 9:38PM
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