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Couple of questions...

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Couple of questions...

Post  ColoradoNatureGirl on 5/4/2010, 5:52 pm

First, I got my boxes built, filled with Mel's mix, grid in place all last weekend! Yay. I will post pictures soon.

Second, I live in CO, Denver area and I know it is a very arid climate. I am watering every day because it seems to be so dried out, is this normal? I mixed my soil according to the book, 1/3 of each component. Should I be watering twice a day? It is not even warm yet and I am worried about summer and want to get a system in place before it gets hot and I am losing plants. My beds are at a community garden so I can't just step outside or look out the window and check on them, hence my wanting to figure this out before it gets to hot.

Third, I have seeds planted in my beds and the other night it was going to be in the 30's so I covered them with plastic on the PVC canopies I built. Do I even need to cover when it's just seeds and no plants yet? It was so windy that night that it blew my plastic and PVC out of my boxes and into the next plot. I am planning on securing my PVC tonight so at least that part doesn't fly away but I was wondering if there are any good ideas to really secure the plastic. I had rocks, a shovel and rake all laying on the edges but it wasn't enough. Again I want to get this figured out before I have baby plants and hail or more cold temps in the forecast.

Thanks in advance for your advice!
happy hi

ColoradoNatureGirl

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watering

Post  Chopper on 5/5/2010, 5:44 am

I don't know about the pvc, but as far as watering, you may have to water twice a day while you wait for the seedlings. Once the seedlings are established, be sure the soil is actually dry. A lot of times it is just the top inch or so that is dried out - dig down and check. I find mine, here in dry CA is nice and moist underneath the top crust.

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Re: Couple of questions...

Post  new2this on 5/5/2010, 7:41 am

Hi Steph

Are your PVC arches IN or OUTside the boxes? They shouldn't blow away like that.
Mine are outside....the 1/2 inch pvc is secured by using 2 of those U-shaped thingys per corner.
I use a 1" U and a 3/4" U per side.....the difference in size allows for the bowing of the pvc arch.
So....4 1" pieces and 4 3/4" pieces per box. seems excessive maybe, but it holds well.

As far as the plastic....I really had to secure mine too. we've had some 30 (some 40!) mph gusts here the past 2 days. I ended up stapling the back side of the plastic to the box. You'll need many bricks/rocks to hold it well. It's a pain, but worth it. My garden is doing well considering our low temps at night here too.

If you live in "farm country" like I do.....maybe you could take a drive and find a pile of rocks at the edge of a farmers field?

Good luck.

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Re: Couple of questions...

Post  new2this on 5/5/2010, 7:46 am

Oh, and one thing......I don't think covering your seedlings will hurt. The warmer it is in the soil for them, the faster and (I'm guessing) more successful the germination rate/percentage.

You may be having trouble with the design of it right now, but once you get it you'll be glad you did. It may come in more handy one year and not so much the next, but at least you'll have it ready!

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Re: Couple of questions...

Post  miinva on 5/5/2010, 8:44 am

In a different thread I saw a link for plastic clips that snap over the PVC, but I don't remember which thread it was Sad I'll do a search for it at lunch time if no one else posts it first Smile

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Re: Couple of questions...

Post  Mikesgardn on 5/5/2010, 8:52 am

You can secure the plastic to 1/2" pvc pipe with large binder clamps that you can get at an office supply store. They will rust eventually, but they are easy to use.

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Re: Couple of questions...

Post  ColoradoNatureGirl on 5/5/2010, 11:08 am

Thank you all for your great advice!

My PVC is inside the boxes, just like it shows in the book. I think we are going to move it to the outside and secure it though. Thanks for letting me know how you did that!

I like the idea of using the plastic clips too. I was thinking about trying to find some cinder blocks to put around the edges of the plastic, that should hold the bottom down.

thanks

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Re: Couple of questions...

Post  Mikesgardn on 5/5/2010, 11:24 am

I experimented with using bricks along the edge of the plastic, but it didn't hold well under strong winds. I also tried those plastic clips that you can get at greenhouse websites, but they didn't work well either. They seem to be designed for hoops that span a larger distance, so the pvc isn't curved as tight. But the binder clips do work well.
Attaching the pvc to the box with u-clamps or bolts will work if your box is sturdy. Another way to get some support is to drive rebar into the ground, and place the pvc pipes over it, similar to the way the book shows how to support the conduit trellis.

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Re: Couple of questions...

Post  new2this on 5/5/2010, 6:52 pm

Here is the site where I borrowed the idea for securing the pvc:

http://www.gardendesk.com/fall-gardening/page/2/

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Re: Couple of questions...

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