Record Weather, Rock Questions, and a Trellis

This week several people asked me about the rocks in the berry patch.  Generally the questions were “why the rocks, do they have a purpose?”

The berry patch and rocks.

The berry patch from another angle. The red raspberries are closest.

Last year trying to mow the grass between the berry rows was difficult.  Having lots of rocks around I thought they would make a nice path between the berry rows.  So the rocks make life easier and add a nice visual touch.

On Friday our local newspaper The Corning Leader published an article stating this was the coldest Spring in 20 years. The article sited Cornell University’s Northeast Regional Climate Center and they stated we have had colder temperatures in the last 20 years and more precipitation this month than the past 84 months.

Most of my conversation with neighbors this week have been about “when is Spring coming” and “I wish we would get some sun.”  It has been hard to get things going in the garden.  I have been eager to get my peas, lettuce, carrots, and onions in the ground.  It has been difficult to hold off but the ground is very wet and cold. Looking ahead at the weather forecasts I know the rain is going to be around for another week.

I used the cool and wet weather this week to build my first, of two, pea trellises.  I had an old pallet in the shed.  I used some of the twigs I have been raking up, and weaved them in between the slats of the pallet.  I then used some 2 x 4’s to stake it into the ground.  I also plan to add some bracing to help keep it vertical it the wind gets strong.

The pea trellis. I hope it works.

The current plan is to get seeds in the ground around May 1st, which is next week. May sure has snuck up on me. I will use the next few days to clean up the piles of grass and twigs from raking the lawn. I have been trying to take advantage of the time I can not be in the garden, but I do hope to be in the garden soon

Stay warm and dry.

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10 responses to “Record Weather, Rock Questions, and a Trellis

  1. Our weather has been a bear this year. I have seen snow in May, yet this year does seem much colder than normal. Plants are slow to surface, and when we do get a warm spell, they grow so much more rapidly than usual.

  2. Heya Spence. I love the pallet pea tower. We built a potato tower out of an old pallet in our garden last year.

    Hope all is well with you and yours.

    • Hi Kev. Thanks for checking out my blog. Hey could you describe your pallet tower. I am always looking for new pallet ideas.

      Hope all is well.

      Spence

  3. Everyone’s weather is crazy! Here we are having a record drought! And hotter than normal. Love your rocks between the berries. I think that’s a very functional and attractive design.

  4. Love your rocks! I wonder if they help retain any heat. I’ve been reading about a guy in Austria called Sepp Holzer who uses rocks over his beds to help keep them warm. He lives in an area known for its severe weather but he manages to grow lemon trees outside by using this technique along with a few others. The rocks absorb heat from the sun and release it very slowly – a little like a storage heater. It acts to protect his crops from the frost. Have you noticed anything like this?

    • Hi Nancy. Thanks for the tip about Sepp Holzer. Our soil is pretty rocky. Not only the larger ones I put between the rows but lots of rocks around 1″. I was speaking with a neighbor about what he does with all the rocks. He said he doesn’t worry about them, much. In fact he shared that his son’s garden has less rocks and does not do as well as his garden. He, off handedly, said maybe the rocks help keep the heat in. Speaking completely unscientifically, I would think there is some merit to my neighbor’s comments. I think Mr. Holzer may agree. Last year I used rock in one bed, this year I added three more rows of rock. So I will have to experiment and see what happens. Thanks Nancy.

  5. The containers around my rock patio definitely get more heat. Good idea. And on a side note, there really should be a “great use of a pallet” award. Such an underestimated garden accessory.

    • Hi Kate. Thanks sharing about your containers. The rocks may help me extend my growing season. I will have to find more ways to use rocks. I agree about the pallet. I love hearing how people use them, so many creative ideas.

  6. Spencer,

    I love the pallet pea trellis. I really should send you a picture of the trellis that my husband and I built for our young grape plants out of recycled tractor crates we got for free from a tractor supply store. It’s a sight to behold, but very functional. We will likely run the grapes when they are a bit older, but for now the protection of the trellis has proved a very positive idea for them. We will be looking into more trellis ideas our of recycled skids, crates, and pallets for our peas, potatoes, and I’m thinking cucumbers also. My brother always uses a trellis for his “cucs” and has really good luck with them. If you find out more about the potato tower, I would love to know more! Our potatoes are getting a few inches tall now, and we have about 30 plants in our patch. That is going to get crazy in a hurry!
    Thanks for the good information. We planted our garden last week, and so far everything is looking good. Hope yours does well also!

    • I love finding ways to re-use things. It is a challenge but fun to be creative. I would love to see your grape trellis. I live near/in the Fingerlakes Region of NY were there is a lot of grapes grown and wine making so it would be fun to see new ideas. I have been debating using a pallet for my cucs this year. I still may, but just depends on if I have time. Thanks for reading I always enjoy your blog.

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