January 9th, 2009

Building My "Special" Raised Garden Beds

bio_leslied

Hi All. Leslie in Las Vegas here.
Because I needed some protection from our desert sun in some of my test beds I installed some “removeable” shade cloth.  Because these plants bloom better in full sun I only put it on a bed when I am collecting pollen for hybridizing or fertilizing; to protect me from the sizzling desert sun, then I remove it.

1

This is how I made them:  I sewed a pocket seam in the shade cloth and put 1/2″ electrical conduit pipe through the pocket – then I hooked the conduit ends under nails hammered into the post. This keeps it tight and the nails can be moved down to tighten it further if the cloth stretches.  It also works pretty good as a wind break.  The shade cloth is adjustable up and down and easily removed.

2

Linseed oil was brushed on the redwood to bring out the pretty color. In the desert the linseed oil took several weeks to lose it’s tackiness and a second coat was brushed on the next spring.  By the way, rags with linseed oil on them will burst into flames spontaneously if not left out in the open air.  Don’t put them into a trash can until they are totally dried – maybe for days.

3

I adjust the strips of shade cloth up and down to give shade or sun on either side of the beds by pulling the conduit and hooking it under nails in the posts.  This is 60% shade cloth and makes too much shade for full sun flowering plants to bloom when using every strip of cloth for many days at time.

Comments

    Your shades look great.
    I tried a sort of floating shade cover last year and a caterpillar ending up eating most of my anaheim chili (luckily the plant bounced back).
    Thanks for a great idea.

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