Yea next year I’m gonna put an outer layer of wire I didn’t this yr and I just just ziptied the cage together
So, building the garden. I marked off a 25x20 space. I dug post holes 24 inches deep, back filled them with gravel to 18 inches and cemented 4x4 posts in place.
If you do this, and you plan on using shade cloth, make very sure that your posts are lined up straight. If they aren’t straight, you’ll either have too much shade cloth or not enough. I screwed up and have one post that isn’t straight, but I managed to make the cloth fit. Here’s a picture of what I mean:
Once your posts are up, then it’s time to run 14 gauge wire top and bottom. Along this wire your shade cloth can move, like pulling back a curtain.
The wire is kept tight with wire tensioners you can buy at a farm store.
Here’s what this part looks like:
See that knob in the side of the tensioner? A 15 mm box end wrench fits on that, making it very easy to tension the wire. As time goes on, the wire will sag and you’ll want to retension the wire.
So, each side has three posts. There’s an anchor screw at one end, and a tensioner at the other end. The post in the middle gets a tarp hook so you can pull the wire(and the cloth)up so it doesn’t sag. The hook looks like this.
I picked 30 gallon fabric containers. Why 30? I wanted a big bag for big plants, but I also wanted to be able to move the full bag if I needed too. A 30 gallon bag full of dirt, especially wet dirt, is the limit that can be (barely) moved by a couple of guys. It’s really heavy!! Anything bigger, you won’t be moving it.
Into the dirt filled bags I put Tomato cages from Lowe’s. The growers using 100 or 200 gallon bags or bigger often use Texas Tomato Cages. Google for the website. I think Texas cages will be too big for 30 gallon pots.
And then, around each bag I sunk 8 ft ‘T’ posts for outer support. The outer support I start about 20 inches up from the base of the plant. That way I can easily water and prune them.
Here’s what a plant looks like with all the supports in place.
Ooops, the above plant is one I call Big Mama, and she didn’t have a cage. Here’s a Hindu Kush with a cage and outer wire:
Shade cloth, aka Privacy cloth can be bought locally or off Amazon. I had two big pieces for two of the sides. The other two sides are 85% shade pieces off Amazon.
What was very expensive was the 30% shade cloth for the top. I bought that online at shadeclothstore dot com. Obviously, a 20x25 piece of shade cloth is a big piece of cloth and has to have some sort of support to keep from sagging.
I took 3/4 inch pvc pipe and built a framework for the cloth to lay on top of. Each piece of pipe is wired to a 4 ft T post for support. The shade cloth itself is tied down to screws in the posts.
And it all looks like this:
I’ve been traveling a bit, so the thread has languished. But, the news is that now there are five plants, not six. One ‘free seed’ resulted in a plant that looked like this:
Yikes! I took a few cuttings to see if I can get a clone. And then I’ll force flower the clone for pollen. But this plant had to go.
Here’s a shot of my Afgoo plant on Aug 1. It’s grown around and through the Tomato cage and out into the outside support wire.
I’d beat around that Bush to get to the tush
Just an update on the slowly ripening plants. Daytime highs in the high 80’s to low 90’s. Nighttime lows high 40’s to mid 50’s.
The Afgoo has pistils that are turning purple!
The Afgoo is an odd plant. After two weeks of flushing, it’s the only plant that stubbornly refuses to turn yellow!
I lost 3 of my 4 seedlings to a groundhog. I hope he enjoyed the high. Any recos on how to keep them away eco friendly??
Keep a rat terrier close by? Gee, I don’t have that problem out west. That’s a fine looking Afgoo you have. How tall did yours get? Any bug problems? Mine is susceptible to Russett mites. Garrigan gave me a recipe for a nicotine solution that killed them but I lost several branches.
I’m in Mass. and she grew to about 5 ft. Thick main stalk and large cola as you see. No need for pesticides of any kind. I grow organically, even no nutes. I cultivate my own compost year round so my girls grow in beautiful rich soil. I’m going to miss “bud tending” now that fall/winter is around the corner. Indoor growing is not for me.
Except for the Nicotine solution, everything I use is organic or certified organic. 5ft tall? Thuat’s what I thought they were supposed to be. Mine is about six and a half foot tall!! Dunno why, but it and the Hindu Kush got tall. I have two Hindu Kush that are 7 feet tall.
I’ll be growing indoors again this winter, keeping my clones alive until next summer.