May 7th pictures: some vegetable garden follies

Today I made a little teepee for my peas. I made it out of buckthorn. There’s a lot of that in our woods — it’s very invasive and consequently difficult to get rid of — so given that we have ample supplies of buckthorn, much of it about the right width for my purposes, and given that it needs to be taken down anyway, I thought buckthorn saplings would be as good a choice as anything for the material. It’s not terribly sophisticated. I lashed the saplings together with twine. It didn’t go very well because I don’t know how to lash and I’m impervious to internet instructions, and many of them are quite bad to begin with. But I sort of did it, and then I just slapped a big old double knot on it at the end and called it a day.

I also sowed carrots, basil, anise, beets, chives, onions, nasturtium, and peas today.

1. It’s a little lean-y.

I think it will stand up, though. Provided we don’t have some kind of catastrophic weather event, in which case my pea trellis will be the least of our concerns. But it is quite windy today, and the teepee didn’t look like it was going anywhere. I buried the base of the legs about 7 or 8″.

2. I forgot to mention Layla helped me.

3. I’ve had these strawberries for a couple weeks now and they seem to be developing nicely. When I bought them, they only had the two lower, bigger horizontal leaves.

4. Here is my very, very humble teepee at the head of the garden. It’s about 6 feet fall. Later I will suspend some twine from stakes in the ground up to the top of the teepee, so that the peas will have more to climb onto. Of course it would look a lot tidier if it weren’t for the bend of the branch in that one leg, but you know what, I like its little deficiency. Gives it character. Unless it makes the teepee snap someday. Then I hate it.

Plans for tomorrow: the shop in the corner of the yard is pretty big and ugly. It also happens to be in the sunniest part of the yard, so most of my new garden thoughts are oriented here. On the one hand, it may not be the most beautiful backdrop for the garden; but on the other hand, the gardens can help spiffy the shop up. Now that I have space for most of the vegetables I wanted to grow, I need to find a place to sow my annual seeds. I am thinking of using the scrappy spot to the right of the door here.

5. Boy, the magic just ebbs from this picture. It throbs with possibility.

6. Between the broccoli and kohlrabi, I sowed two rows of carrots.

7. Elsewhere around the yard: the fern jungle!

8. You really might think you’re in a jungle.

9. To the left of the ferns is a long lane of raspberries, which are blooming now.

10. There’s this neat plant that’s sprouted up among the raspberries. I don’t know what it is, but I love the new, fuzzy red leaves.

11. The same pretty plant as above.

I took a turn over to the hillside overlooking one of the big ravines. There are these big clumps of grass growing there, which I’ve found a little funny because there are not a lot of grasses growing in the woods. At least not here. I think they have such a beautiful, spilling form. It’s hard to get a picture capturing them adequately

12. It’s grass.

13. More grass

That’s right, still more grass.

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7 thoughts on “May 7th pictures: some vegetable garden follies

  1. Amazing how quickly the brush in some wooded areas can get overgrown in the Spring. I like that you made the teepee for your peas yourself, even if you did get a little help from Layla. šŸ˜€ It will be interesting to see what delicious veges will be coming your way soon.

    • The real test will be if the little teepee can stand over the summer. I will be following disperser’s advice below and I think it should be right as rain then. And if not, I can always blame Layla.

      This is going to be the summer of beets. I am going to eat more of them than I ever have in my life. (That won’t be hard, because I’ve only eaten them a few times before.) I am even prepared to make borscht, if need be.

      • Yeah, that was a good idea disperser had regarding reinforcing your teepee. It didn’t look too bad in your photo except for that one gimpy leg but you don’t want that bad boy breaking down into a heap of shattered peas midway through the season. Beets are your chosen cash crop????? Well, if you get tired of eating them you can always make a natural facial toner or beet juice painting. Found this site for your reading pleasure http://www.organicauthority.com/sanctuary/20-nifty-things-to-do-with-beets.html

  2. I would suggest adding stabilizing horizontal saplings tied to the vertical saplings. I mean around the perimeter, not through the center, although additional ones through the center (in addition to the perimeter saplings) would make it more stable. Attach them about a third of the way up. If adding another layer for more stability a third of the way up from the first one.

    8″ into the ground does not seem like much, especially after plants are on them and offering more wind resistance. I would suggest three foot-long saplings be pounded into the ground right next to each existing vertical sapling, angled opposite from the existing saplings toward the center of the structure. Lash those to the main vertical supports. That should make it more difficult to tip over as you now have two different vectors to resist efforts to pull them out..

    Just as suggestion. Nice photos, as usual.

    • What are you, an engineer?! šŸ™‚

      No, honestly, I will do more to secure my little trellis. I will definitely do the horizontal thing (I think I am going to need a lot more for my peas to grab onto, anyway), not to mention it will look nicer than way. I will do what I can with more vertical supports in the ground ASAP, before the peas germinate and I mess up their roots too much…thanks for all the tips!

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