How big a factor is WIND?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Leah IL, Apr 19, 2005.

  1. Leah IL

    Leah IL momto6

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    Having no other choice, my garden will be in a wide open former cornfield. Let me tell you- we get some wind out here like I can't believe. Will this be a huge problem for my vegetables? I have visions of my tomato and pepper plants that I have nursed along for weeks now, just blowing away to the next county. How can they possibly stand up to that kind of force? I have been working so hard to get everything just right out there, but today as I was working on my rows the wind was blowing so hard...I just felt HOPELESS!!!!! Anyway, am I overreacting and, if not, is there anything I can do like put some sort windbreak trees or something in? Any suggestions?

    Leah
     
  2. suelandress

    suelandress Windy Island Acres Supporter

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    We have very windy conditions.....our porch swing was leifted up over the deck rails and blown across the field kind of wind........

    Two hints.....whatever you use for tomatoe stakes, cages, etc.....make sure that it is WELL anchored and corn......pile dirt around stalks as it grows.

    Didn't have any problems with the peppers....except that they never fruited :rolleyes:
     

  3. whiterock

    whiterock Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Wind at my place is so strong that the north limbs grow straight and the south limbs curve over the top and point north. No joke.
    When I set out transplants I often put a gallon can over them that has both ends cut out so that the plant can get stronger before facing the full brunt of the wind.
    Sometimes, when the ground is really dry the wind will blow the soil hard enough that the plants are sandblasted to nubs. No Joke.
    Like the joke says, the wind doesn't blow this way all the time, sometimes it blows the other way.
    Ed
     
  4. 3girls

    3girls Well-Known Member

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    Read some of the books on Permaculture to see how wind breaks operate. Then plant a bunch of trees, shrubs, etc. to direct the wind. Again, using permaculture principles, make those trees and shrubs fruits. Layer your plants, and use "stacking" techniques to protect the most tender.

    In the meantime, would some well staked snow fence help. I would think it would at least break up the wind some. A row or two of sunflowers could also help.
     
  5. leaping leon

    leaping leon Well-Known Member

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    My grandfather used to plant pole beans with his corn to help anchor them down, but we don't have the wind you have.

    suelandress, I wonder if your peppers didn't fruit because the pollen got blown away...

    In that kind of wind, do you have insects that can help pollinate? Can bees cope with that sort of wind?

    Come to think of it, you might want to plant your plants in goups or rows so the wind will blow the pollen down-wind to the rest of the plants. Also, the raised-bed intensive method might work better since the plants are placed closer together and it would be easier to incorporate windbreaks. Might be an option for next year, or for your fall garden, or for part of your garden.

    I love this site, it always makes me think...
     
  6. suelandress

    suelandress Windy Island Acres Supporter

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    Everything else got pollinated OK....but I have a history of bad luck with peppers, so I'm guessing it's not wind related :bash: Actually, I do just fine with hot peppers....just not sweet bells :confused:
     
  7. seaweed

    seaweed Well-Known Member

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    I live in a high wind zone right on the coast so it is a salt wind too. We've had a fence with posts concreted 600mm into the ground blown out by the wind. I've lost my garden several times now. It is cold here as well which does not help. or to rephrase that, we can get nasty cold snaps in the middle of summer here & summer is not exactly that hot.

    What I have found so far that survives the wind for us is brassicas, broad beans, parsley, celery, carrots, parsnips, yams, beetroots, swedes, potatoes, onions & bulb fennel. Anything else I've tried just gets ripped to shreds. All the fruit or the blossoms depending on when the real nasty gales are can get blown off my fruit trees in any given year. I have planted sunflowers but they either grow along the ground & get tiny flowers or they end up with a trunk instead of a stalk & are short with tiny flowers.

    We've only been here a couple of years. So what I am doing is growing a shelter belt of local native trees & shrubs that grow well in sea winds. I've got an additional hedge of a tough low growing wind tolerant divaricating shrub around my vege garden. Then I am doing a dry stone wall out of blacky-blue rock to help store the sun's heat.
     
  8. Leah IL

    Leah IL momto6

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    Wow, what perseverance you've got! Very admirable :) These are great ideas, too. I don't think I have time this year to put up any kind of protection, but I am going to start a hedge of some sort. That way next year it will be established for me. I never thought of a wall, I like that idea. Do sunflowers really block wind that much? I never would have guessed it.
     
  9. Leah IL

    Leah IL momto6

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    Alright, I admit it, I had to look permaculture up in the dictionary :rolleyes: I am so clueless! I ordered a book from the library called Gaia's Garden : A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture by Toby Hemenway. It was the only book that came up in my search of our library system, so as soon as it gets sent in I will look through it and see what I can learn :) Thanks!
     
  10. seaweed

    seaweed Well-Known Member

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    No sunflowers don't block the wind. I love them which is why I get very frustrated. I aint never gonna win any tallest sunflower competitions where I am ! The best thing to block wind, IMHO, is something that grows locally to where you live. That way you will end up with a no maintenance, effective wind break. Or that is the idea anyways :)