Improvising: Masonry Ladders for Plant Protection

Today was a day.

It involved a rediscovery of termites, which are slowly eating away at our dear old house.  (Almost one hundred years this house has been here and these darn termites choose NOW to start their destruction!? I tell ya’.)

It involved a little girl who has been getting progressively sicker over the last few days.  A sickness that required a trip to the doctors and a fever of 104.2.  Scary high.

It involved a little boy who also had a (prearranged) doctor’s visit to check on an ear infection that we hoped we had finally nipped in the bud only to discover that we had not – an ENT referral it is.

And now, the day involves a tired mama who lugged these three, rather sick, kids all over this valley and in out of cars more times than she cares to count.

All of this to say, that today’s post is a quick and easy one.  However, I think it is a nifty little use of material and it is definitely thrifty.

You see, in Phoenix, we are blessed to not have to worry to much about the cold (though it DID get down into the 20s for a week or so and it DID snow in the valley this year).  We can pretty much grow through the winter, especially with proper protection for the plants.  However, it is the summer that kills us (and the plants).  It is the never-ending days of 110-115 degree days that exhausts even the most inspired and hardworking gardener.  And sadly, those days of temperatures in the 100s are not far away.

This past week has really seen an increase in temperature and it is well over 100 in the sun.  As a result, every time I’ve peered out the kitchen window to look at my new, beautiful herb garden, I’ve seen a bunch of droopy, sad looking plants.  I water and they perk a little but they’re right back to droopy the next afternoon.  I realized that it had come time to give them a little protection from the sun.

Around here, we make great use of  masonry ladders –  to create hoop houses –  for our tender plants.  Masonry ladders are incredibly inexpensive (less than $3) and readily available at any local hardware store.

The only adjustment you might need to make is cutting the length to fit your application.  If you’re planting directly in the ground, or if you have a low raised bed, then you’ll need to trim the ladder up a bit.  We were having some trouble finding a tool (short of bolt cutters, which we do not own) that would do the job.  Luckily, Doug thought to pull out his handy dandy Dremel –  and it did the job perfectly.

As you can see in the pictures, I’m using a white fabric called  Agribon –  to protect the plants.  You could also easily use burlap or a screen of some sort.  Just be careful that enough light is still getting through to keep the plants that you are trying to protect happy.

I tend to keep the ladders in place all the time.  It is easier than trying to store them and they can be used to grow vines on during the growing season.
Alright, that’s all you get from me tonight.  I’m off to eat some ice cream and sleep the day off.  
Shared on  The Homeacre Hop –
Shared on  The Backyard Farming Connection –

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