Kitchen Garden Guides

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Using Vertical Space in the Garden

I was standing in my poly house, thinking, as I often do. I have lettuce and mizuna seedlings planted on one side and was thinking about sowing sugar snap peas up a frame, on the other. But it seemed so wasteful of space and I just hate wasting anything. What's more, I like to look at these protected planting zones as cubes, rather than just a flat space, to make the most of all that plastic!

A poly house is different to outside in other ways beside just being protected from frost and wind; when the plastic gets old, it becomes less clear and more a semi-white and this means that the whole of the inside is infused with an even, bright light, rather than having sun and shade.


So I began to toss about ideas, coming up finally with one which I think is rather good. I will have two rectangular beds of lettuce and other winter salad greens, each accessed by a short path, as in a keyhole design. Then, arching from the top wall frame of the poly house down to the far side of each bed will be 2 wire trellises for sugar snap peas.... I think you can see this ok in my sketch.... I have not drawn in all the trellises or it would look too messy but you can follow the dancing peas to get the idea!

Luckily I had, just the day before, found enough of the stiff 50mm wire mesh to do this whole job, tangled up with a pile of sticks and debris under the gum trees on my block so I was able to have the idea, make the plan, get the job done and sow the peas (which I had ordered online and received from Southern Harvest last week) all in one day!

The only problem ..... and this is quite a major problem..... is that the storm force winds last week almost shredded the poly house which is now in a sorry state and, I fear, will not last the winter as I had hoped it would. But I have an idea hatching for that too......

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