Magazine article Sunset

How Does Her Garden Grow: In a Box

Magazine article Sunset

How Does Her Garden Grow: In a Box

Article excerpt

A reader uses a homemade design to get the most out of her small garden

THERE'S RARELY A bare spot in Evani Lupinek's compact, 100-square-foot vegetabl garden at her home near San Luis Obispo, California. "I've got to have somethin to eat from the garden every night," says Lupinek. "Besides, I hate the look of bare dirt." To get the most from her precious space, and to keep things perpetually green, she has designed several simple grow boxes of various sizes, complete with pest barriers and irrigation systems. Her intensive gardening techniques and the enabling mild coastal climate result in an abundant year-round supply of organic vegetables.

BUILDING THE BOX

Lupinek gardens in a narrow 10-foot-wide side yard bordering a wild canyon. Though insect pests are few, deer, gophers, raccoons, rabbits, cats, and birds pose quite a challenge. Her boxes, which resemble raised beds once in place, ar made of 2-by-12s anchored in the soil; sheets of 1/2-inch wire mesh stapled to the bottom of the boxes keep burrowing critters out. A framework of 2-by-2s ove the boxes supports bird netting that keeps grazers and diggers at bay.

Having built three boxes out of different kinds of lumber and of various dimensions, Lupinek has determined that the optimal box would be 3 by 6 feet an constructed from redwood or cedar (although she still uses her first box, which is roughly 4 by 10 feet). Plants in a 3- by 6-foot box are easy to reach from all sides. The 12-inch depth of the box allows room for root crops to develop without hitting the wire mesh; deep-rooted plants simply send out roots through the holes in the wire mesh. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.