Sunday 3 May 2020

A protection racket

An aerial view of my veg plot confirms that it does contain rather a lot of "hardware".

Apart from the wooden-frames raised beds, most of the stuff I call hardware is there to provide protection against the elements and/or the local wildlife.

I use these little plastic greenhouses to protect my early potatoes from frost:

The potato plants are getting tall now, so closing the lids is becoming difficult!

The other day (the day before the first photo was taken) we had many hours of heavy rain. Fortunately I had seen the weather forecast predicting this and had covered as many as possible of my young plants to stop them being battered down. Here we see Kohlrabi and Broccoli plants underneath one of my long cloches:

Next to them, under a similar tunnel-cloche, are young Lettuces:

At the end of the same raised bed I have 5 short rows of Radishes (one only just emerging), and these are protected against foxes by wire covers made from the shelves of the mini-greenhouses:

I have two coldframes for protecting seedlings. One is a low one, seen here:

That one is very flimsy, and the "glass" is actually polycarbonate. It is very lightweight and I constantly worry that it will blow away. No such worries with the other coldframe though. This is the Gabriel Ash one, which is very substantial and has real glass.

When that photo was taken, the upper level contained several trays of little seedlings, and down below were my 8 biggest chilli plants.

I nearly forgot to mention the nets covering the raised beds. Without these, my garden would be a complete disaster area. The foxes constantly dig in any piece of unprotected ground.

All this paraphernalia may seem a bit over-the-top to some people, but I think it makes a huge difference. My garden is not big by most peoples' standards, and every crop is precious. I remember how I felt years ago, before I had all this kit, how soul-destroying it was to come downstairs in the morning to see more of my lovingly-nurtured plants trashed by animals or the weather. One day, when I'm rich, I'll probably get a polytunnel...


  1. I fully understand your need to protect your precious plants. We suffer domestic cats and find their disgusting presents that they like to leave in the borders most disturbing so to protect my raised veg beds have wire fences round them with two sides that are detachable so I can plant, weed harvest etc. and little pieces of chicken wire that I can lay on bare earth to stop them scratching. Jane

  2. Looks like your veggies are well protected!
    Wishing you a bountiful harvest this year!
    Have a blessed day!

  3. You protects your plants so well

  4. You need a biome. We haven’t had any rain but frost is predicted this week, just as the potatoes are pushing through and the strawberries flowering.

  5. How cool to see the whole garden from above! I have all sorts of paraphernalia to protect my raised beds, too. You have foxes and badgers, for me it's an abundance of squirrels. Everything is looking good. You have a great setup, Mark. Thanks for your blog, I've learned a lot from you!

    1. Maybe I need to get a drone, to provide more "from above" photos?!

  6. It's not over the top at all. I've lost two entire raised beds because a single cat managed to breach my fencing over the course of a week or so without me realising. Total destruction and of course it's left me presents to deal with.

    I don't think theres any such thing as too much protection. Now, if only I could figure out how to keep the slugs out!


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