The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Cardboard watermelon protection

watermelon protection

It's that time of year when watermelon and butternut squash plants explode with growth and reach past their raised bed areas.

A cardboard buffer might sacrifice part of our "lawn", but hopefully will provide some additional protection for these yummy treats.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Protection from... too much moisture from the ground that rots the fruit?
Comment by mitsy Tue Jul 17 17:01:52 2012
Thanks for that information. My butternut squash plants did lousy last year. It was the first time I grew them. But I have a couple of them coming back a valunteers this year. They seem to be growing nicely. So I will be using the cardboard.
Comment by mona Tue Jul 17 17:37:58 2012

Mitsy --- Protection isn't really the right word. More of a weed barrier so that the necessarily unmown area of grass doesn't hide the fruits (and drive Mark crazy. :-) )

Mona --- We have a hard time not ending up overwhelmed with butternuts. Lack of light or nitrogen, though, can hold them back. Maybe that was your problem?

Comment by anna Tue Jul 17 18:55:18 2012
Watch out for slugs. I used this technique on some squash and beans. The beans didn't make it too far without leaves and the squash started looking pretty nasty. On the bright side, the slug-friendly environment allowed me to collect enough to feed my fish in the pond for a week. Now that nasty slug infestation has turned into small-mouth bass meat. :-)
Comment by Everett Thu Jul 19 09:47:11 2012

Everett --- It's interesting that people are always warning us about slugs with mulch. We have seen a slight increase since starting to use mulch, but definitely not the infestation others report. I suspect there must be some kind of imbalance that makes a garden likely to grow slugs, but can't quite figure out what it is. Maybe our slug numbers are just kept in check by our copious frogs, toads, salamanders, and turtles?

Nice work turning slugs into fish! :-)

Comment by anna Thu Jul 19 13:56:21 2012

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