Friday, October 22, 2010

It's curtains for you, bugs!

For those of you who may not get the above reference, "it's curtains!" commonly means something along the lines of "you've had it!" It comes from the theatrical world where once the curtains close, the act is finished. So, why do I use it here? Well.

We have an organic garden here at Hope House.  That means no nasty pesticides, which unfortunately has meant a few nasty bugs.  We've picked, sprayed good stuff, all to no avail.  Something (I suspect grasshoppers) swept in one night and chewed their way through my very healthy fall crop and just ticked me off.  Whatever it was got a piece of everything but the broccoli, which is happily growing under a cloth dome.  I used the cloth there because past experience led me to believe we'd be growing green worms along with the broccoli if we didn't.  So, when I saw the damage I decided to go back and cover the Brussels sprouts the same way.  (I just hope I'm not trapping any bugs in at this point!)

The beautiful thing is what I use to cover the beds: curtains!  IKEA makes these Lil curtains that are more like netting.  I think I mentioned them when I covered the broccoli, but as they work so well I thought I'd give a little more detail.  They are $5 (no typo) for two panels and each panel easily covers my 6' X 4' beds or I can cut them in half and cover two 4'X 4' beds.  That's cheap.  They are not weathering at all in the sun and the rain goes right through them without effort, no puddling so no weight pull-down.  The wind also goes right through them.  The thing is, these are weird for curtains, more like lightweight fabric screens in white.  When I first used it on the broccoli bed I stapled it to my raised bed.  Unnecessary!  When I covered the Brussels sprouts yesterday, I simply arranged it over the hoops (available from Gardeners Supply) and the rough wood of the bed gripped the curtain like Velcro!  Easy-peasy! 

These photos show the Brussels sprouts under their new cover. The close up is not a great photo but will give you a better idea of why these curtains work as described. 

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