Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Raised Bed Covers

This design will go down in family history as either brilliant or... not so much.  I chose the 1 mm thickness plastic drop cloth because the 2mm size wasn't in 5's and my biggest bed is 5x5 feet.  Here are the steps so that next year I'll either know what to do or what NOT to do :).

1. Get 10'x20' 1mm plastic drop cloth.
2. Play with dog while rolling it out to 10' (while still folded up longways) in the living room.  Interrupt olders' chemistry notetaking while playing with the dog (oops, sorry!).  Tell dog that game is over now.
3. Unfold the now 10x10 sheet and refold in half.  Cut along fold making (2) 10x5 sheets. [I made them twice as long because I'm keeping the trellis for each bed up for now.]
4. Get 4 donated hair bandies from dc (2 for each one).
5. Roll each sheet up and slip a bandie around each end so it looks like a long skinny taffy candy.
6. Once outside staple the bandies to the back end of the bed.  Staple the end of the roll also to the backside of the bed and a few on top of the end.
7. That was still a bit saggy so... Cut some jute rope, twine, whatever.  Staple 2 sections of jute to the top of the wood in different places, slip through between the plastic and the wood, wrap around the roll of plastic and tie an easy to undo knot.  Remember the weather will be miserable when you go to undo so an easy knot is better.

How to attach at the other end when undone (I have several ideas and will try a few):

A. Staple it
B. Screw in some eye hooks; pull a bunch through and tie a knot.  3 for bigger bed.
C. Jute stapled into wood at the other end (2 strands).  Pull a bunch together and tie tightly.  I am going to try this on the skinny strawberry bed. 


Just undo, roll up, slip bandies back around ends, tie jute again in easy to undo knots.

Dh says that the setup is good but the material is too thin and will get ripped to shreds.  Unfortunately I think he's right, but I couldn't get really thick material at the moment.

Let's just hope it works!  I only need it for about a month.  The lettuce is just finally coming up; as are the beets, kale, kohlrabi, and some green beans.  The carrots we planted last APRIL finally look really good - same for the cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli.  They did nothing all spring, summer, and now most of fall.  I'd hate to lose them right when they are thriving.  The green beans I planted as seedlings in early fall are doing well and producing. [note to self:  plant a lot more than 3 next year!]  I also need to cover some random plants.  I finally got my first little eggplant of the season but it's only 2 inches long so far.  I had lots of flowers all along but no fruit.

Here are the carrots, finally growing:

These are the green beans that I planted as seedlings:

This is a really good GMO article:

By the way, my grass is STILL scorched black from back in September when I got Frankenfrosting on it while cleaning out some free frosting buckets from a local grocery store bakery.  Scroll down in these old posts for pictures.  It doesn't do it justice though regarding just how BLACK and DEAD the grass is:

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