1/100th Acre Farm: Late Spring Hacks

One of these days, I am going to report on the bounteous early harvest from the 1/100th Acre Farm. But right now, there is no early harvest.

American Grandpa is new to serious gardening and my ADD keeps me flitting from one experiment to another. Once I get my act together, the farm will take off and make me proud.

The good news is that I’m constantly learning new things.

Today I want to share a couple of gardening hacks I’ve discovered.

Garden Legos

The first is a product that has been around for at least two years, but I just discovered it as I was walking through the garden center in late April.

Old Castle planter wall blocks are miniature (7.5 x 7.5 x 5.5 inch) cinder blocks with 2-inch slots on each side and a hole in the center. They’re designed as corners and side-supports for any size or shape garden box (see the slide show below.) The hole in the middle allows rebar to be driven to provide stability.

I’d recently dismantled my old garden boxes and was struggling with the design and cost of new ones. And because of my new fruit-growing focus, I just wanted to do a very small garden this year and kind of grow back into it.

This product provided the flexibility I needed and the cost was very reasonable at about $3 per block. I bought about a dozen of them and built just what I wanted.

Keeping Those Strawberries Off the Ground

As far as I know, the second hack is an invention of my own.

I lost a few strawberries to rot last year because they were resting on the ground. I’ve seen plastic stands that fit under plants to keep the fruit off the ground – but they sell for about $1.50 to $3.00 each.

My idea was to recycle milk jugs to make ground covers for my plants.

I cut the milk jugs open, flattened them out and cut the biggest oval I could get out of a side. Then I punched rows of holes as deep the punch would reach into the oval. Then I cut the center out of the oval and repeated the process. I also used the rest of the jug to make smaller (jigsaw-type) versions.

It took some skill (no time playing Tetris is ever wasted) to fit them together under the plants and without legs the fruit still rest on plastic which is on the ground, but they were still a great help.

I also like the idea that they are FREE and, because they’re made of HDPE, recyclable.

Let me know what you think.  

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