During the sunny sojourn of this week I got a few things done. I am glad I put the delivery of my yearly plantings off a couple week because it has been getting pretty cold at night.
I put the splitter on the hose in with one side going to this pipe and one going to the soaker hose.
I call it a poor man drip irrigation system and a hanging strawberry bed out of one of the two two 6″ leftover unused 8ft PVC pipes.
I ran a hose into one side and set the splitter to run harder into the right side, the soaker hose that I have never been able to use before. I threaded the soaker from the pipe through the stand of raspberries the pipe doesn’t water and around to the garden I put in to plant my sweet potatoes, I only have 3 slips so far, I should have started at Thanksgiving instead of Christmas. It’s not a very big bed and it is right next to the parsnip bed, also about 3ft by 3ft, then I put it so the little holes would squirt each of the three grape vines. I wasn’t thinking when I put it by the post instead of between them, rookie mistake.
It’s plenty hot in there. I am keeping a journal of temperatures. I had to set alarms on my cell phone at 9,12,3,6,and 9 again. I found it helpful having the first winter journal in predicting the artificial environment of the cold frame. The strawberry bed, along with the other soft fruits I am trying to nurture in there needs a good steady supply of water. While it is hot in there and moist with humidity but the ground is dry without rainfall.
I cut this leftover 8ft unused 6″ PVC pipes with holes cut out in two lines that were originally intended for use as sewer pipes. So I counted the holes to make sure it would be an even amount before I started sawing. A good tip to remember: A good tip to remember is “Measure Twice Cut Once” because mistakes are costly.
I colored in the places so I would not make a mistake while I was cutting out the holes. It doesn’t look like it but it’s easy for me to mess up cutting every other one out.
It’s hard to tell from the pictures but the original holes were not even with each other so these large cut out holes are actually diamond shapes.There are 12 holes. I saw the ends here were sloping toward the center so I cut the holes on the other end to slope toward the center too to give it a pretty effect but the way the holes were drilled prevented that.
I’m really happy with how it ended up. You can see here on my work bench inside the cold frame. This is the finished 12 hole strawberry bed. Then I knocked the dust off. I put the end of the soaker hose inside the empty pipe and looped it at the end. I turned the water on to make sure every part of the soaker hose produced a good supply of water. It’s the first time I have ever had water pressure and even though it seems like I exchanged problems, I feel blessed to have my own water source and it’s already making such a difference. I didn’t have any kind of outside water source for over 3 years and before that the outside water I had was only about 3 gallons a minute.
This hanging strawberry bed does not and won’t ever look fancy, like every thing else at my place, it may not look like all that but it is fully functional. The construction grade plastic walls on the cold frame should last another two years which along with a winter cover that I put on in the fall, it will give me time to get the walls framed in and windows and vents. It won’t be finished for awhile. The roof still has particle board at the top of the clear panels and it will until I can save up the money to buy 16 more panels to finish off the roof for full sun exposure.
UPDATE May 13, 2015
I messed up cutting the spaces in the very center, it weakened it. When I filled the pipe with dirt and soaker hose it sagged in the middle. I reinforced it with more wire coat hangers wrapped around the support beams.
It works but if I had the option to do it again I would leave the middle two spaces in.