Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Vertical Strawberry Patch

Last summer I found some plans for PVC gardening online.  I showed them to my hubby and mentioned that I would love to do our strawberries like this.  We discussed and planned over the winter and finally got to work last week!  One of our main concerns was that the tubes be UV resistant.  We spoke with our favorite 'garden' store, Bryant Pipe and Supply, and they told us about the UV resistant tubing that was CHEAPER than PVC!!  BPS employees have patiently guided us through our different watering scenarios, allowing us to keep most of our trees and plants alive after years of killing them!

 My hubby put in 4"x4" posts, then assembled four 4"x10' PVC type tubes for each row, which he screwed together.  We hung them on the posts using plumbing tape.

I drilled 2.5" holes every 6 inches using a drill.  
 Then I used weedbarrier on the end of the tubes, secured with hose clamps.  We discussed using solid end caps, but I liked the idea of having drainage on the ends.
We love the "Square Foot Gardening" method and I've had great success with 'Mel's Mix' of vermiculite, three different composts, and peat moss in the greenhouse.  

My hubby built a garden box in the garden, so the kids and I were able to mix the different dirts in the box.  Using old milk jugs, we slowly filled each hole and tube up with dirt.  We had to cut our workday short after our eldest got dirt in her eye.  We took a trip to the ER after irrigating her eye at home with saline solution to make sure it was completely out (it was!).   

(You can see that now we were wearing goggles to keep dirt out of our eyes!)

We were able to re-use the 6" drip system tubing we used on the strawberries last year and fed them into the tubes, luckily they were the perfect length, saving us from buying more tubing.  I ran around hooking up hoses trying to make sure the water was flowing in each tube.  We will need to add a pump eventually, since we water using reclaimed rain water, but to test it all out I hooked it up to the well water.

Then came the task up digging up the plants in the garden and transplanting into the holes.

We have about 320 holes.

 I have about 200 or so plants STILL in the garden, so now I have to figure out what to do with them!

I found this plan and maybe we'll build this next:  http://www.pvcplans.com/trellis.htm

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Best buds

 The kids are bouncing all over the barn, even venturing outside when it's nice.  However, when it comes time to chill out, they snuggle up in pairs, Jett and Marlee (above) and half-sisters, Diamond and Star (below).  It's too cute!!