JD Garden, HillsboroughTraditional Deck, San Francisco
The garden 3 weeks after planting, on a foggy day.
Photo by Steve Masley
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Before You BuyIf your edible garden is relatively compact and level, your watering needs are fairly uniform and your water pressure isn’t too high, a prepackaged drip irrigation kit designed for vegetable gardens will probably have everything you need, including step-by-step instructions. It’s a good way to get started. If things are a bit more complicated, you’ll need to do some preplanning before you head to the store. Don’t despair. It seems like a lot to do, but simply consider these guidelines for making the most of your system. It is possible to skip a step or two and chances are, things will be fine. Again, the beauty of drip irrigation is that if what you put in doesn’t work, changing it is much easier than redoing an in-ground irrigation system.How Do I… Clean and Care for Garden Tools?
Incorporate vertical elementsMaking use of vertical space with frames and arches is a good way to add an important structural dimension to your cook’s garden. It’s also an excellent method for growing vegies in limited areas such as on this deck space. Don’t restrict your vertical supports to tomatoes, beans and pea plants, though. Train vegetables, such as zucchinis, cucumbers and small pumpkins, up a sturdy support so they’ll get more sun and leave more room for other plants. While there are some gorgeous frames and arches around these days, home-made structures, such as a teepee made from bamboo poles or thin branches, will do the job equally well.
Shelter vegetables from the windCold winds slow down growth considerably, therefore building some kind of shelter is essential for winter crops. Trellis or lattice screening is perfect as it filters the wind, but you can also use wind cloth or build your own temporary wind screen from demolition materials. A slower but long-lasting and very effective wind screening method is to plant a hedge.