Monday, May 12, 2014

Garden Updates

With all that's been going on I've neglected any updates on our garden projects.  Kevin has his blog Project 128 that has all the step by step information and updates on these, but I keep track as part of our family doings.  We've reaped a surprising amount from the tower and vertical gardens, despite our recent attack of the pickle worm!!  It sounds like something from a B horror movie, but it did really reak havoc on our squash including all the seminole pumpkins that had been doing so well.

The 3 towers with all their veggies at the beginning of this month

All our towers and the VGS in back with some photos of what they are producing

The disgusting and destructive worms that have caused so much damage to our squash

As the heat began to come on Kevin needed to figure out how to properly shade our plants to extend the growing time, and prevent them from frying in the Florida sunshine.  Our first attempt at shade cloth over an extended set of lines that covered all the tower and vertical garden systems failed miserably, as the cloth was too heavy for the length of wire and put too much weight that caused the posts to lean.  Not good.  So we began exploring options.  While watching a video of a man's system,who had done something similar to our VGS (vertical garden system) but had extended the poles higher to create their own shade area we came up with the idea of using a pvc structure for shade.  I found several months ago online at the local Habitat for Humanity store sets of 10 sticks of pvc pipe being sold for $7.  We bought 2, wish now we'd bought more!!  With those sitting around waiting for a project this seemed perfect.  I told Kevin he could put them together like tinker toys and create a shade structure for each of our systems that we could put shade cloth on as needed.  So he got busy and created this:

Kevin begins with the sticks of pvc and cuts them to size.  He uses the connectors without glue to be able to take it apart if needed in the future. As I said earlier, it's like a big tinker toy piece.

Kevin puts the pieces together and adds the togs available for shade cloth to tie onto a surface

Once assembled he and Cameron use zip ties to hold down the shade cloth.  Because of the direction of the afternoon sun, they've added the extra on this side of this unit.

And there you are, almost instant sun protection for our tower gardens!!
Pretty handy if I say so myself.  This was just what our towers needed to help protect and allow us to continue reaping a bountiful harvest.  We need to spend some time over the next week, cutting back roots and doing the necessary cleaning of the towers to keep food production at it's peak.  I'll reposition plants that are being shaded too much by their neighbors that have just grown too big, so we continue to get growth and food from these too.

This was the very first salad we picked back on April 2cd only a month after planting the towers.  We gave this to Grandma and Poppie to enjoy and have been able to follow up with larger amounts since then.

This is the size salad I pick every couple of days.  Our strawberries are also producing more.  In the future I'd love to have one tower devoted only to strawberries!!

Some of the yellow squash, zucchini, beans and cucumber we picked.

I still have my garden beds on the side I'll post about later.  These are doing well, but the difference in the rate of growth is startling compared to what we've already harvested from our towers and vgs systems.

Stay tuned for more.


  1. Wow how nice to enjoy a salad grown in your own garden. I can only dream. Sorry not visited for a while as I was away but I am back now.

  2. Hello Paps, so good to hear from you again. Hope your time away was enjoyable, will have to pop over to your blog for updates. It has been really nice to have all the fresh salads, and the flavor of everything has been remarkably tasty!
    Take care and thanks for stopping by. : )