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Mar 202014

I got tipped off about a guy in Michigan that built a greenhouse for himself. It’s not a simple, quick project, but compared to the cost of buying a kit or buying a big fancy greenhouse, it has real big possibilities! And, of course, the plants don’t care!

DIY Greenhouse

DIY Greenhouse

DIY Greenhouse

DIY Greenhouse

DIY Greenhouse

DIY Greenhouse

DIY Greenhouse

DIY Greenhouse

DIY Greenhouse

You can read all about Tom’s DIY Greenhouse. Thanks Tom!

Mar 202014

Last year the wildlife ate everything they could get their mouths on. New strawberry bed? Chipmunks, squirrels, birds, woodchuck ate it all. Lettuce/Spinach? Rabbits, woodchuck, deer…gone. Chives, nasturtium, basil? The critters loved it!

I put up some simple fences around a few of the raised beds and that seemed to deter most of them. But it was hard to get in and out of and made it quite difficult to weed and mow grass.

Simple PVC Fence
This one is a simple PVC frame with bird netting covering it.

Later I got some fairly stiff, plastic coated wire fencing. I cut it into 4′ panels. I set it just inside the raised bed and held it up with metal rods with candle holders on top we had laying around. It did a great job of keeping most of the wildlife out but still wasn’t very conducive to getting in to harvest and weed.

{Photo coming soon)

So here are ideas for MUCH better fencing that I’m going to need to be doing soon.

Garden Fence example

Courtesy of Farmers Daughter
Mar 182014

I love to garden in a raised bed. I can control the makeup of the soil, it’s easier to weed and tends to compact far less than beds directly in the ground. This bed is one of my favorite designs and is what I’ll be basing a 8′ x 8′ raised bed space on. The fencing keeps the critters out of your veg and by simply putting a tall fence version in the back, it acts as a trellis for climbing beans, cucumber and other plants that vine.

Favorite Raised bed with Fence and Gate

This simple raised bed is narrow so I don’t have to reach as far and being in a “U” shape, makes far better use of limited space. Pretty pricy using redwood or cedar.

U Shaped Raised Bed

Here’s another example in a brand new bed. The narrow long beds with a slot up the middle maximizes garden space while minimizing stretching across a standard 4 foot bed width.

U Shapped Raised Bed

Mar 172014

What a great idea. Build a planter out of scrap cinder blocks.

Sofia lives in Brooklyn, NY and built this in her little plot of soil.

Pam Penick took it to extremes and built the entire corner of her garden as cinder block planters.
Cinber block planter wall

This one is far too formal for my taste but you may like it.
Formal Cinder block planter

Kristin from the Hunted Interior took a simple planter a step further and built it into an outdoor bar.
Cincer block planter and bar

Most people simply take some stiff, small hole galvanized fence screen and bend it into a pocket shape and shove it into the cinder block hole. Friction keeps it in place so don’t trim off all the sharp ends poking out. If you are planting with regular garden soil, it’ll help to push a square of landscape fabric in to line the pocket. Then simply fill with soil and plant seedlings or seeds.

Robin from Society Bride made her planter from used block.
Used Cinder Block Planter

Whether you like the look and go out and buy new cinder blocks or scrounge around and find used ones, this is a great project.