|Project by reedwood||posted 06-20-2013 04:49 PM||1239 views||3 times favorited||16 comments|
Man, I love strawberries!
I quickly found out … So do the chipmunks.
I’ve always wanted a strawberry patch so Last year, I dug up the old flower beds and created this vegetable and strawberry garden in the back yard.
We enjoyed several types of lettuce, green beans and peas, carrots, peppers (given away – Agh!)
and a variety of herbs all surrounded in marigolds.
A neighbor friend gave me about 50 chutes and I bought another 60 chutes but, I was told I have to wait a year to get strawberries from the new ones.
There is another garden for tomatoes, corn, red potatoes, green beans, beats, cucumbers, squash, watermelons, pumpkins and a 50 year old, four ft. tall rhubarb that’s been split eight times and given to several neighbors.
Hmmmmm! fresh salad tonight.
Can you see the praying mantis?
I couldn’t wait to harvest that first bowl full of home grown strawberries.
This spring, I watched the plants explode in new growth, sending out new leaves, chutes and yellow flowers which quickly turned in to little green strawberries in the making….. Hundreds of them.
I was so excited I started making a list in my head of the lucky friends that will share my home grown heavenly bliss.
But, way down low….deep in the thick mass of new strawberry flora and flowers, there was a creature busy at work who had his own list….and all the neighborhood chipmunks were on it.
As soon as a big strawberry started to turn red, they would grab it and leave nothing behind.
No signs of the strawberry massacre, no juicy seed trails leading away from the scene of the crime,
not even a kernel of chipmunk poop left as evidence.
How could one chipmunk eat so many strawberries? There must be a lot more but I never saw one!
That was the last straw.
It was obvious that I had to do something fast or forget about home grown strawberries for desert.
So, I decided to build a strawberry pen out of some 1×6 rough sawn cedar that was given to me by a client.
Last winter, I remodeled their master bathroom. The previous contractor left 10 – 16’ 1×6 cedar planks in their garage, left over from the siding project. They gave them to me and were glad to have them out of the way.
They were perfect for this project. What a score!
I ripped the 1×6s in half to 2 3/4”, attached the frames together with pocket screws and stapled galv. 1/2” cage wire to it, sticking it down in the ground 4” and buried in 3/4” packed gravel, topped with bricks inside and 6×10 pavers outside buried in the ground.
Nothing’s getting through this.
Check out the hinges.
Another client gave them to me and was hoping I could do something neat with them.
They were left over from remodeling an old 1920 -30s Brown Stone in the heart of Chicago.
They were covered in paint and pretty rusty so, I took them apart, sandblasted, primed and painted them with high heat aluminum spray paint.
Now, they look and work great. I’m sure the client who gave them to me will be pleased with their new home.
There are just a few flowers left now… Not sure if we will have many strawberries to share this year.
I did get this one strawberry before the little garden monkeys absconded it.
It was delicious.
But, next year….
I think I’ll send the first two baskets of perfect, chipmunk free strawberries to the clients who donated the materials that made this project possible….. yea, that would be cool.
Woodworking and gardening…..it’s all good.
-- Mark - I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.