The first week of June has been unseasonably warm, even by Yakima standards, peaking at 105° for two days in a row. Established plants are wilting and emerging seedlings are stressed. However, our landscaping and gardens are designed to provide some added shelter from such weather extremes.
Raised beds for the vegetable garden are enclosed behind 5 foot high cyclone fencing that has privacy slats added. We had to use heavy duty posts and space out the slats so the wind wouldn’t push the fence over.
Raised beds and drip irrigation are laid out inside the fenced garden area. Raised bed gardening has many advantages. We can create a micro climate to favor the crop in each bed by adding shade cloth over hoops or screened flat lids to cover the bed.
We have one area we call “the Conestoga.” It is a 24 x 12 foot planting area that we dug down into the ground, rather than raising it up. The area is framed 2 x 12 inch lumber, with five 4 x 4 inch posts down each side. Heavy gage wire fencing forms a high hoop over the width of the bed, then we covered the hoop with a specialty product we found in a commercial ag catalog. So far it has held up to the wind and provided shelter for crops that require warmer nights, i.e. tomatoes and melons.
Our greenhouse is an essential asset in our garden strategy. It is a season extender, allowing us to start seed flats earlier and keep crops in production in the cooler months of the year. Today the weather has moderated, with a high of 72° predicted. I’m going to go outside and enjoy the yard and garden while I can 🙂