You are looking at a wind break born of a desperate attempt to save my beautiful, raised-from-seed, plants!
My 2020 gardening season did not start off well. In fact, in looking at this scene, you might be asking what my husband asked when he saw it.
“When did the gypsies get here?”
Droll as that is, and ugly as it is, this hand made wind break, billowing like a sail, has saved 17 tomato plants from early death! And these breaks were free, made from materials I already had on hand and had been using for years.
Here’s what happened.
The day after I finally put all my overgrown tomatoes in the ground, Mother Nature treated us to constant wind velocities of 17 to 20 Miles Per Hour (MPH).
The next day was the same and I was watching the leaves on every single tomato dry up, burn and drop off, a death sentence for any plant.
Early the next morning, in desperation, my “gypsy wind break” was installed.
It’s made of the queen sized sheets I sewed together to protect my blueberries from the birds. (Once you catch and kill a bird in netting, you probably won’t use it again.)
Okay so this wind break is not pretty but it does the job!
It would have looked a bit better if I could have attached it directly to the tomato trellis but the clips and clothespins were too small. So, I used the bamboo poles I’ve had for 25 years and attached the sheets to them. Eureka! A wind break was born.
But I didn’t stop there!
I found a new use for the old window frames that I use to cover plants if we get a late frost. They too were employed to break the wind and keep it off of 8 pepper plants and 5 eggplants.
These frames were free; I just stapled old sheer curtains to them to protect my plants.
Two of the window frames were tilted down over my 9 cucumber plants, again, to stop the killer wind.
You can just see the plants nestled under the frames and mulched with straw. They must be happy because they set their 3rd set of leaves, already.
Although the garden looks like a bit of a hodgepodge, all of the plants, including the tomatoes, have recovered and are starting to look like they may survive!
But, because my hand-raised tomatoes got such a rough start, I cheated and went to Maple Shade Nursery. I bought 6 Amish Paste tomatoes and put them in the ground yesterday, in the rain.
Checking on them today, they all seem very happy, no wilting, no burned leaves.
I also sneaked in 6 yellow squash plants and tucked them into my blueberry patch..
Today, it’s warm, it’s moist and I think my garden will actually survive!
For all of you who are just beginning to garden, enjoy! It can be tricky but it’s also so rewarding.
Walking in my bare feet, in the dirt and on the straw and the clover is my idea of heaven and…you get to eat what you grow, like this glorious lettuce and spinach!
FYI, the windbreak stays up until the second week of June….