Sure is cold today and I am so glad I spent time last week tucking in my little garden beds. Don’t get the wrong idea– I try to avoid buying new things at all cost, especially petroleum products…but once in a while I do spend some money on that little garden of mine. Lately I have been in and out of three stores and purchased some really useful stuff I thought I would share with you all.
I bought about 60 feet of heavy weight row cover at Plants of the Southwest ( they sell it by the yard) and a roll of 9 gauge wire ( at Home Depot in the fencing dept) to make even more hoops over my beds. Ro really protects against spring winds, weird weather like today…(is that snow I spy out my window?) and of course animals like chickens, dogs, cats and wild birds that are so drawn to mess around in my tidy, tender greens. I have over wintered greens under this stuff and some plastic sheets all winter long and now that spring is officially here I am boldly transplanting cold season greens like Kale, Chard and Collards out there as well as direct sowing peas, spinach and lettuce oh and I even put this over the onions sets I planted last week… I say the cozier the better.
So, if you interested in doing your own cover up, the row cover cost about $3 a yard at Plants of the Southwest. It is 12 ft wide so you can cut it down the middle or into any shape you like. The roll of 9 gauge wire cost $21 at Lowes but I am pretty sure you can get it at any hardware store.
You will need bolt cutters to cut it, which is a whole other investment, but chances are someone you know has one.
First, I line up the end to the next ring and cut
In this way I got 24 hoops.
I space them 3ft apart in my beds and in 20 ft beds I put 7 in each bed….I was able to do 3 beds…maybe more info than you need, but I had fun figuring this all out. So 24 hoops for $21.23, after tax…$1 per hoop. The row cover is about $.50 per foot(after cutting it) so to cover a 20 x 3ft bed I spent $17 each.
That kind of seems like a lot now that I really do the math, but they will last at least 5 years, maybe more if I take care of them and store them well when I am not using them. I also know that I will be eating $17 worth of veggies from each bed in no time so it is money well spent.
This is what we had going on last year- Photo taken April 20th, 2013. So as you can see, a little protection grows a long way, hehhehe!
In my consumer roamings I also found I few treasures I will NOT buy, but would like to. At Bioshield I found these…
Haws watering cans
and these fancy Italian, English and Japanese gardening tools.
And the cutest Haws cherry red watering can you ever saw!
They even carry the Stella Natura Planting Biodynamic calendar
And a few more books I think I need for my shelf…ah someday!
Ooo, that red watering can is beautiful! But I’m sure the row cover is the better investment! This is the kind of post that is really, really useful to me because, though I can visualize having lovely row covers for my bed, I have really no idea about how to go about it and what it all costs.
So happy to hear that!! Nothing Better than rambling on about something you find totally fascinating to find out that intact you are NOT the only one!! Glad I could help you grow!!