Albums: My vege garden
Hello Richard, have you taken a look at Richard Watson's tunnelhouse? It has stonewalls. He might be able to give you some tips. Since he took that photo, he's added some raised beds in the tunnel house.
We were thinking of (well, had started) doing a rock/concrete thermal mass wall in our greenhouse, but were warned that it would be a slug hotel. Not so bad if you mortar up all the gaps.
True, but my difficulty is that we have water restrictions in summer so I can't turn the sprinklers on whenever I want. You're right: if I could, it wouldn't be an issue.
I have ringed my whole back yard with brick raised garden beds, and used stones with no worries in the heat
The big plus with them is that they have thermal mass - so long as you keep them wet in the heat they will hold the cool for your plants and protect them in the heat
You can wet them repeatedly or you can cover with hessian which has it's bottom in water - this is an old sailors' trick
A lot of boats have their fridge/freezer or cool box alongside the hull - which can get very hot in the tropics - the trick there is to cover the hull with hessian with it's bottom in the water
Similarly the outback traveller used to hang canvas water bags on the front of the car - the breeze would keep the water cool
I found watering day and night did the trick during the long very hot spell we just had in Adelaide
Yes, I've also got a vege patch in the ground i.e. not raised. I find that the rock beds warm up faster and so get going earlier. However, the BIG downside is that they also heat up too much and dry out too quick in our Wairarapa summers (there's no PVC lining or anything between the rocks and soil). So they're great in the other seasons, just not in the heat of summer here.
Hi Jacob, do you have any other beds of the non-rock-lined variety? I'd love to hear of any comparison you might be able to draw between them and these.
I'm guessing that the rocks retain a lot of warmth once the sun goes down, and was wondering if this would be beneficial to any plants? (i.e. plants that like warmer conditions would benefit be being planted closer to the rocks...)
Thanks! No, they're not lined actually. In spring the self-seeding nasturtiums pop up and tend to hang over the edges suppressing the weeds, I guess.
Great looking beds but you must have lined them with something or the weeds would grow through, at least at our place it would, we have kaikohe everywhere
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by Jacob Verbeek
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