Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Finally getting my cloches up

The 200m roll of poly pipe arrived today so I started on the first of my shade cloches which I hope will protect the veg beds from frying like last summer.
I still have to order the 50% shadecloth yet but I have time. I am only getting stuff as I can afford it and with each bed cover going to cost around $35 (including the shadecloth) it will take until they are needed when the weather heats up to get a fair proportion of the total beds covered.

I have here a 200m roll of high pressure 3/4 inch poly pipe and  a 7m sheet of weldmesh. I didn't go with 'normal' poly which would have been only half the price because it is too soft and will not be able to hold the shadecloth up, especially when it it hot and soft. Weldmesh is made for making sheep yards but has heaps of uses around the garden - from tomato cages to trellises.

 The weldmesh will be cut up to make stakes to hold the hoops

This was enough to make hoops for 16 beds.

I cut the weldmesh so there is a crosspiece to make it harder for the pipe to move. Half goes in the ground and the pipe goes over the other half.

After cutting the pipe into 2.5m lengths which made the hoops around 1m tall which is big enough to provide enough still air for insulation from the heat as well as small enough that they won't buckle when hot. They are also tall enough to cope with the size of brassicas.

The hoops are set 1m apart so I need 5 hoops for each 4m bed.

They are fairly stable but I still probably need to make something to attach all the hoops together so they don't fall over in wind.

I can't afford to have to start almost from scratch again like this year so I hope that shading most of the beds will allow me to grow veg all through the summer.

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