Frost-Proofing the Roof Garden

Pallet Garden Frost Proof

So the timing of this post is off. Talking about frost in July? It is Colorado, but I’m not too worried about it.

It was, however, a crazy spring, and it seems better to get this seed planted (pun intended) in your brain so when you have your own pallet garden and you get that surprise snow storm you’ll be prepared.

What You Need:

  • We inherited a roll of what I believe is painters plastic, which just so happened to be the perfect size for our pallet. Any large piece of plastic or old bed sheet would work.
  • Sticks or dowels taller than your plants.
  • Staple gun (or another way to hold the plastic down and make sure it doesn’t fly away in the wind)
I took some dead branches from a tree hanging over our porch, broke them into pieces that would hold the plastic above the plants. This is important, you want to keep the plastic off the plants as much as possible to help keep them from freezing. If they touch, they are more likely to freeze. If you want to look a little more clean and less haphazard, get a dowel or two, or even some paint stirrers, and cut them up. Place the sticks around the outside edges as well as throughout the middle trying not to upset your plants too much.

IMG_3625-2 IMG_3627-2

Lay the plastic over your pallet and get it arranged and straightened. It was a good windy storm, so we went all out and stapled the corners down instead of just laying something heavy on the corners. Start at one end, get all the excess gathered, and make sure you pull it fairly tight. You don’t want to wind catching too much of the plastic and ripping it off.

IMG_3628-2 IMG_3630-2

The plants, all cozy! They kind of look tucked in for bed. All the rest of the plants were still in small pots  we just brought them inside for the night.

IMG_3629-2

And safe and sound the next morning!

IMG_3633-2

IMG_3635-2

The snow was already melting in the sun, and next to nothing was damaged. When I unrolled the plastic I only detached it from one end and left the top stapled in case we had another round of frost.

What method have you had luck with?

Advertisements

Roof Pallet Garden

So you have likely seen the vertical pallet garden by now, right? Well, we live in a second floor apartment with a door to a  south facing “porch” which is actually a flat piece of roof with no railings. We love it. (We have no children…)

But we want a garden. And not some silly little flowers packed in tight, we wanted to produce food from our plants. So our pallet garden looks a little different:

patio pallet garden title

What You Need:

  • – Pallet – if you are going to eat from your pallet, be careful to not get one treated with chemicals.
  • – Landscaping Fabric – keeps your dirt inside the pallet and not all over your porch.
  • -Staple Gun
  • – Dirt – our pallet was smaller than standard size 50in by 25in , and used less than 3 cubic feet of dirt (Get the potting kind! We had to exchange ours…)
  • – Plants – do a little research as to what you want and what works well in your region and in smaller spaces.

Start by fixing up your pallet. Clean up any stray nails/screws and sturdy up any loose boards.

IMG_3552

Some of the plants. We also bought a bunch of tomatos (already potted here) to see how they’d do. I eat tomatos like candy…

IMG_3550

Attach your landscaping fabric. We went overboard with the staple gun, but I don’t regret it. Went along all four sides as well as the support pieces that go across the middle.

IMG_3560

Make sure to keep the “top” open if you are going to put this upright at all. If you put it completely upright you will want to plant here, if it is at a slight upright (like ours) then it helps to collect rain water.

IMG_3568

Start filling with dirt, make sure to tuck it in the bottom and under the support pieces so there won’t be too much movement when you put it more upright. Don’t overfill yet, you need to put your plants in still.

IMG_3573

Happy garden making!

img_3579

Now put in your plants! Make sure to loosen the roots of the plant so it takes in its new place, but don’t disturb the roots too much, it’s hard on the young plants. Tuck them in fairly tight (but not too tight) with more dirt. Full in any sneaky holes, and save the rest of the dirt to fill in as it settles.

IMG_3579

The finished product a few weeks later moved to it’s final resting place:


patio-pallet-garden-title

Facing slightly east for extra sun, with our struggling tomatos in front. (I trimmed all that blight off, but they still have a pile of flowers, so I think they will be OK!)

Thus far my main improvements have to do with my plant care, but this neat little pallet keeps out weeds and many ground varmints. I am however experimenting with how to keep the squirrels from digging, but so far they haven’t ruined any plants. However, the fight is on once fruit starts forming…