Monday, July 1, 2013

Trellis for the Cucumbers

When we bought the house, there was a small space between the barn and the back planter box.  It seemed like wasted space to me.  And even though you would think it would be pretty shady, since it it crammed in between the wall of the back planter box and the barn, since it is south facing, it always seemed to get a lot of sunlight.  So last year, Nate and I built a small narrow planter box back there.  Here is the first blog post where I mention it.  Last year we grew corn it it.  The corn did ok in there.  It got pretty tall and ended up producing a few ears of corn, but I decided corn is just not worth growing.  It is so cheep at the store when in season and just as tasty.  And getting only an ear or two per plant just seems like too much biomass to produce to get a tiny bit to eat.  

In some issue of Sunset this winter or spring (I can't find it anymore and can't find any reference to the project on the sunset webpage) they had a tiny blurb about using steel remesh, like the stuff used in concrete slabs, to attach a sturdy trellis to a wooden fence.  I thought it would be perfect to attach to the side of the barn to let vining plants (like cucumbers) grow in that weird little planter box.  I told Nate about it and I added it to the list of projects to get to at some point.  

As a side note, the barn had a pretty good termite infestation in the door and earlier this summer we ended up getting the whole barn tented and fumigated.  When they did that the tarp ended up covering up the weird little planter box.  The vicane definitely killed all the plants that were left in the planter box, which at the time was just parsley that had seeded itself there.  I was worried that it probably also killed any earthworms and anything other good stuff living in the soil and I didn't know how well stuff would end up growing in there.  

I had started a few cucumber seeds earlier in the late spring and was eager to get the plants in the ground.  So we went to Lowes and bought two 4' by 7' wire remesh panels.  With a little bending, they barely fit  in Nate's Ford Focus with the back door tied down.  We also got screw in hooks to attach them to the side of the barn.  We ended up having to cut down the remesh a little bit.  They attached to the barn pretty easily and make a nice sturdy and attractive trellis.  I put lots of compost in the planter box to make sure the soil was healthy and planted the cucumbers.  They are now finally blooming and getting tall enough to climb up the trellis.  Hopefully, I can actually get enough cucumbers to pickle a few this year. 

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