Friday, August 14, 2015


Making  a Teepee Trellis for Climbers

During a storm about 2 years ago, several fir branches fell from our trees.  We decided to use them in several projects in the garden and this one is perfect for them.  They're about 3 inches round, so we just propped them together at the top and pushed them into the ground about 6 inches deep. 

I lashed them together by going around each branch, then the other and so on.  Robert held them together while I put several layers over and over for strength.  It gets a little windy around here, at times, so I figure more is better.

 Once the top is lashed together and stable, it's a good idea to stake the bottom of each section.  I like to make sure the posts aren't going anywhere.

In order for the plants to climb, I used cotton string to tie around and go from post to post.  Start at about 6 inches from the ground, then add string every 6 to 8 inches up the posts for the bean, peas or whatever other climber you want to cover your teepee.

Once you have your string up, plant at the outside base of every post.  For extra coverage, plant in between the posts, too. The effect will be a completely covered teepee that is absolutely beautiful and the plants will love it.  I made the mistake of planting, then making the teepee.  Then, I had a tangled mess where I broke some of the vines while trying to get them to climb.  After traumatizing my peas, I gave them a very long watering that perked them right up.

Another good idea is to leave one section open (with no string) so you can go inside to pick your veggies.  Plus, it's a fun place for kids to play and hide once it's grown.

An abundant and luscious crop awaits you that is clean, 
off the ground and less likely to be pest ridden. 
I hope you try this one.  It's not only good for the plants, looks great in the garden and growing vertically always gives you more space for additional crops.

Here we are in less than 2 weeks.  Up to the 4th string on the trellis.  Wow.

Monday, June 29, 2015


Alpaca Fiber Pathway in my Garden

    Now this is fun.  I am in the process of spreading alpaca fiber in all the pathways of my garden.  My expectations are that the fiber will keep the weeds down, so I will have a lot less maintenance.  And, the fiber should keep things from becoming a muddy mess.

     All I have to do is wet felt all of it.  That, my friends is going to be a lot of work.   The fiber needs to be felted, so it doesn't end up all over the yard on a windy day.  that would really be a mess.
     I'm only using thirds,  This is fiber that most people throw away.  It's shorn from the animals lower legs, belly and around the butt.  Plus, I have a few years worth as I've been saving it for just this type of occasion.  You know the old saying, "waste not, want not".
     My next step will be to put some water, soap and a little vinegar in a bottle to spray the fiber.  Then, I'll do a little dance all over it to rub and mat it together.    

Image result for felting mongolian style

                            The two photos below show how the Mongolian people felt large pieces.
They either beat the fiber to death with
sticks or wrap it and drag it behind a
horse, turning it several times.                                      Image result for Mongolian style feltmaking on horse   

                       As you can see, the fiber pathways are coming along nicely.  I've been working on getting a lot more of them down between garden plots.
                          Here are a couple more, plus my teepee.  Grass & weeds have started 
 growing up through the fiber, so I need to add more as a better barrier.

Below is my favorite.  Love the way this looks, so I'll add color to the white ones.

Let me know what you think about this crazy idea.  Do you think you'll try it?  Just remember to felt it down before it blows away, or all over your yard.