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in Fruit & veg
Edd we have some thingies you stick on furniture that will work for that - thanks! I am one of life's experimenters. I really don't know what will happen with this, but am curious to see. My experience with those blow away greenhouses has made me very sensitive to the combination of polythene and wind!! And the other issue is ventilation. I think on a calm day like today, it might be as well to lift the sides and allow for a change of air under there. But nothing is growing yet, seeds only went in a couple of days ago.
Rain pooling could be bad unless you make small punctures in the plastic sheeting.
Yes, that was one of the reasons why I thought I might remove the cover in wet weather. I think given the quality of the polythene small punctures might rapidly turn into bigger ones, which is why bubble wrap might make more sense.
You could make the sides and top separate but that would involve extra timber rails for the sides. You could then put hinges on one side of the posts that would allow you to open it slightly, to let air in. Just like a box with lid.
Place a cane in the middle of the bed with a ball on the end. this should lift the plastic just enough to let the rain run off?
If you had the posts at one side slightly higher so the polythene sloped would that allow the rain to run off rather than pool?
Great idea Edd. Or you could use a small plastic pot. I don't think sloping the top would work unless you could get it really tight, which means guys and pegs - then you end up doing camping rather than gardening!
I like the idea of a slope; but why not use fleece on the top, polythene at the sides?
I am ruminating on all these ideas, and a grand plan for the mother of all raised beds is beginning to form in my mind using a variety of your suggestions. Fleece would let the rain through wouldn't it, but still warm the soil and keep frost and cats off. I am planning similar tops for the beds where we put the potatoes, but will upgrade the design. And then patent it, and then become a millionaire...!
I make things- almost anything, and roofs of fabric like things are just bad. The best thing is turn it into an arch. Get some 1/2 inch PVC pipe (here it is $2 for 20 foot) and put 2 foot lengths o 1 inch PVC into the ground every 2 foot along both sides - just drive then a foot into the soil with a hammer or block..
Bend a 8 foot length of half inch PVC as a hoop - just like making a covered wagon - across from one 1 inch socket stuck into the soil to the other one. Cover with what ever you wish. the good thing about this is it just unplugs when you want it down - then plugs back next winter. You may need a rope tied to each across the top to keep them connected. 3/4 inch PVC is better if the span is 4 foot. then you would have to up the socket PVC or use rebar.
The normal way this is done is to drive a two foot length of rebar into the soil at each side instead of the PVC sockets and put the PVC 3/4 inch hoops across side to side and slipping them onto the rebar- but each will work. Cutting rebar is not something the average person can do - but PVC cuts with a hack saw.
Totally agree with Flora Dog, I use PVC piping for all the frameworks on the allotment, I can span my brassicas with it to drape netting to keep out birds and butterflies. I span it over my raised beds and then cover with enviromesh to keep out the bugs, works great.
Busy Bee, I envy all that space you have and love your beds.
Flora dog & scroggin, I like the sound of your pvc pipework structures.
Any chance of photos showing them in situ please?
Right - well the plastic sheeting thing has not worked. A couple of days of vicious winds and it is waving about. Glad I didn't plant too many seeds on the strength of it. However, we do have the pvc piping here, and metal pipes from scaffolding I could use as footings. So I have decided to trial some ideas and let you all know how I get on. We are reasonably well off here weather-wise, but the wind can be an issue (eastern side of country although to be fair, hasn't been too calm in the west either). I am not surprised that it didn't work. But excited about my new prototype. And I suppose the arched structures work because the wind is filtered over the top of them rather than faced with a vertical obstacle. Hmm... All food for thought.