Thrifty Gardening

This weekend’s to-do list was mostly yard and home maintenance – cleaning eavestroughs, pulling leaves and weeds out of our front yard, trying to distinguish weeds from vegetables, etc., but all I wanted to do was sit and look at my garden. It was so warm that I felt like I could see the shoots growing before my eyes! I’m anxiously watching the seeds I’ve already planted every day for their progress and worrying about the ones I don’t see growing yet. I planted carrots last weekend and only see one or two shoots so far. Dave tells me to be patient and that not every seed germinates at the same rate. I’m worried that I’ll wait for them too long and not have carrots until September!

In addition to my yard work I set out to build pole teepees for the climbing vegetables I have so far – peas, snow and snap peas, and freshly planted pole beans. I’ve been looking around for a few months and scoping out what you can buy in stores ready-made. I decided that it isn’t rocket science, and I’d rather make something myself then pay $20 for someone else to do it. I figure I can  always try something and if it isn’t working, try something else halfway through the summer.

My youngest sister was married last fall and originally wanted to use birch poles in her wedding  ceremony, but never ended up using them. As they’d been sitting in her driveway for about 6 months, she enthusiastically donated them to the garden cause and I brought them home.


See the pea shoots underneath?


I tied them together with the wire leftover from our chicken fence. Don’t judge me, that was the neatest I could manage!

I didn’t really have a specific height in mind – everything I’ve looked at is different so I wasn’t sure how high to make them. These are about 4′ or so – the other pea teepee is only 3′ so we’ll see how they compare.

I was really thrifty for my snow and snap peas. I was running out of birch after I finished the teepee for my pole beans and wandered around the yard and garage for about 20 minutes feeling lost and sad for my remaining plants. Then, lo and behold, at the back of our garage I found 4 shelves from an old shoe rack that were calling my name.


This’ll work…. right? I angled the shelves together and then used the wire to weave in and out and fasten them tightly.

I’m pretty proud of my birch-pole/shoe-shelf pea-trellises. I hope they work!!!!!!!


A rag-tag bunch of teepees and trellises, made with love.

To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves.” – Mahatma Ghandi


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